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Singapore shares open firmer on Wednesday

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SINGAPORE stocks opened higher on Wednesday, as Asian markets elsewhere also started the day stronger in anticipation of the US Federal Reserve raising rates.

The benchmark Straits Times Index gained 8.56 points, or 0.29 per cent, to 2,963.79 as at 9.01am. Gainers outnumbered losers 78 to 38, or two up for every one down, after 87.3 million shares worth S$52.5 million changed hands.

Asian shares rose to a one-month high and Chinese index futures signalled gains after both the S&P 500 Index and the Dow Jones Industrial Average rocketed to new records on Tuesday, Bloomberg reported.

The US Federal Reserve Open Market Committee will meet on Wednesday to set interest rates. Markets are largely expecting a hike of 0.25 per cent.

Should it raise rates, it will come a year after it did so in December 2015, and will only be the second time in 10 years that it has done so. This would be a sign of confidence in the US economy's gradual growth.

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