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Singapore shares inch up at open after Wall Street ends higher; STI up 0.2%

SINGAPORE stocks edged up on Wednesday tracking overnight gains from Wall Street as investors take heart on more government stimulus and coronavirus vaccines in 2021.

Singapore's Straits Times Index (STI) inched up 0.2 per cent or 6.47 points to 2,983.64 as at 9.05am.

Gainers outnumbered losers 113 to 42, after 127.7 million securities worth S$90.1 million changed hands.

The most active counter by volume was Avarga, which dropped 1.4 per cent, or 0.5 Singapore cent to 34.5 cents with 22.1 million shares changing hands.

Other heavily traded securities included Sembcorp Marine which was up 1.2 per cent or 0.2 Singapore cent to 16.8 cents, with 6.8 million shares traded, as well as Leader Environmental Technologies, which gained 2.6 per cent or 0.4 Singapore cent to 16.1 cents, with four million shares traded.

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Sunpower advanced 3.1 per cent or three Singapore cents to 98.5 cents, with 2.7 million shares traded. The environmental protection solutions provider said on Tuesday that it is buying four sets of boilers for 100 million yuan (S$20.5 million) from a Chinese textile company.

Banking stocks rose in early morning trade. DBS was up 0.9 per cent or S$0.23 to S$26.96, UOB was up 0.6 per cent or S$0.15 to S$23.73, while OCBC was up 0.6 per cent or S$0.06 to S$10.60.

Other active index counters included Singtel, which rose 0.4 per cent or S$0.01 to S$2.46, as well as Ascendas Reit, which dropped 0.7 per cent or S$0.02 to S$3.03.

In the US, equities tied to the US economic recovery led stocks higher on Tuesday. Petroleum-linked shares were winners, along with airlines, retailers and infrastructure as investors anticipate gains for beaten-down sectors that have suffered during Covid-19.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average closed 0.2 per cent higher at 31,068.69. The broad-based S&P 500 climbed less than 0.1 per cent to 3,801.19, while the tech-rich Nasdaq Composite Index advanced 0.3 per cent to 13,072.43.

Elsewhere in Asia, Tokyo stocks opened flat on Wednesday as a higher yen weighed on the market along with reports that the Japanese government will expand a virus state of emergency.

The benchmark Nikkei 225 index inched down 0.03 per cent to 28,156.12 in early trade, while the broader Topix index slipped 0.2 per cent to 1,854.09.

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