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Singapore shares inch higher at Friday’s open; STI up 0.14%

SINGAPORE shares opened slightly higher on Friday, with the Straits Times Index (STI) gaining 0.14 per cent, or 4.31 points to 3,178.50 as at 9.02am. 

This comes after Wall Street posted slight gains overnight, as investors awaited for more news on a possible trade deal between the US and China, before a fresh round of tariffs on Chinese goods is scheduled to kick in on Dec 15. The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 0.1 per cent, the S&P 500 gained 0.15 per cent, and the Nasdaq Composite added 0.05 per cent.

On the Singapore bourse, gainers edged out losers slightly at 48 to 40, after about 36.4 million shares worth S$45.4 million changed hands. 

Among the most heavily traded by volume, Golden Agri-Resources slipped 2.2 per cent, or 0.5 cent to 22.5 cents, with 2.4 million shares traded, while Yangzijiang Shipbuilding was up 0.9 per cent, or one cent to S$1.11, with 2.3 million shares traded.

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Meanwhile, units in Mapletree Logistics Trust (MLT) fell 0.6 per cent, or one cent to S$1.71, with about 1.2 million units traded. 

According to the latest review of the STI by FTSE Russell, MLT has been added to the benchmark index, while Golden Agri-Resources will be excluded. 

Banking stocks were mostly up in the early morning trade at the end of the trading week. DBS gained 0.2 per cent, or six cents to S$25.07, and United Overseas Bank added 0.3 per cent, or seven cents to S$25.48, while OCBC Bank was flat at S$10.65. 

Other active index stocks included Singapore Press Holdings, which fell 2.8 per cent, or six cents to S$2.12 on an ex-dividend basis, whereas Genting Singapore gained 1.1 per cent, or one cent to 92.5 Singapore cents. 

Mainboard-listed Chasen Holdings also jumped 7.5 per cent, or 0.5 cent to 7.2 Singapore cents, after the firm announced that its subsidiary has bagged a 50 million yuan (S$9.7 million) contract to provide move-in services for a plant in Anhui province.

Elsewhere in Asia, equities eked out gains tracking Wall Street overnight. 

Japan's Topix rose 0.1 per cent as at 8.07am, Australia stocks climbed 0.2 per cent, and South Korea's Kospi gained 0.6 per cent, data from Bloomberg shows.