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Singapore shares muted at Friday's open; STI up 0.04%

SINGAPORE shares inched slightly higher on Friday, with the benchmark Straits Times Index gaining 0.04 per cent, or 1.15 points to 3,233 as at 9.01am. 

Advancers outnumbered decliners 75 to 39, after about 38 million shares worth S$70.4 million changed hands. 

Among the most heavily traded by volume, ComfortDelGro slipped 0.4 per cent, or one cent to S$2.31, with 2.9 million shares traded, while Singtel shed 2.1 per cent, or seven cents to S$3.23, with 2.8 million shares traded. 

This comes after the mainboard-listed telco on Thursday posted a historic first quarterly loss of S$668 million, hobbled by its associate's S$5.49 billion provision for sums claimed by the Indian government.

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Banking stocks were in the green in morning trade. DBS gained 0.2 per cent, or six cents to S$26.62 on a cum-dividend basis, United Overseas Bank rose 0.8 per cent, or 21 cents to S$26.78, and OCBC Bank added 0.6 per cent, or seven cents to S$11.16. 

Other active index stocks included Yangzijiang Shipbuilding which was up 1 per cent, or one cent to S$0.98, and City Developments which gained almost 1 per cent, or 10 cents to S$10.62.

In the US, stocks were little changed overall, with the S&P 500 notching its second straight record close, on an otherwise subdued day for Wall Street. 

Elsewhere, Asian equities rose on Friday, though gains were capped following weak data from China and Germany.

Japan's Nikkei gained 0.6 per cent, while Australian shares were up by 0.5 per cent in early trade.