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Singapore shares inch higher at Thursday's open; STI up 0.2% to 3,132.60

SINGAPORE shares pushed slightly higher on Thursday, with the Straits Times Index advancing 0.2 per cent, or 6.78 points to 3,132.60 as at 9.03am. 

This comes as Wall Street stocks climbed overnight, after US President Donald Trump stoked optimism over a possible trade deal with China. The broader S&P 500 gained 0.6 per cent, led by gains in technology and consumer shares, while the tech-rich Nasdaq was up 1.1 per cent, and the Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 0.6 per cent. 

On the Singapore bourse, gainers outnumbered losers 64 to 58, after about 29.6 million shares worth S$47.8 million changed hands. 

Among the most heavily traded by volume, Rex International gained 1.2 per cent, or 0.1 Singapore cent to 8.3 cents, with almost 3 million shares traded, while Yangzijiang Shipbuilding rose 0.5 per cent, or 0.5 cent to 99 cents, with 2.3 million shares traded. 

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Banking stocks also edged up in the early morning trade. DBS gained 0.6 per cent, or 14 cents to S$24.87, OCBC Bank added 0.5 per cent, or five cents to S$10.82, and United Overseas Bank squeezed out a 0.04 per cent or one cent gain to S$25.39. 

Other active stocks included Mapletree Industrial Trust which fell 1.2 per cent, or three cents to S$2.46, and Yanlord Land which rose 0.8 per cent, or one cent to S$1.20. 

Elsewhere, Asian equities also rose on Thursday morning as upbeat comments from Mr Trump that a US-China trade deal could arrive sooner than expected seemed to overshadow impeachment inquiry proceedings in Washington. 

Japan's Topix added 0.8 per cent as at 8.01am, Australia's S&P/ASX 200 index gained 0.1 per cent, and South Korea's Kospi advanced 0.5 per cent.