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Singapore shares open higher ahead of fourth budget; STI up 0.9%

SINGAPORE shares started the work week higher ahead of an announcement of Singapore's fourth Covid-19 support package on Tuesday.

The Singapore market advanced despite the Ministry of Trade and Industry on Tuesday morning projecting gross domestic product to shrink by between 7 per cent and 4 per cent this year. This would be a bigger drop compared with previous estimates of a contraction of between 1 per cent and 4 per cent.

The Straits Times Index gained 21.69 points or 0.9 per cent to 2,521.52 as at 9.05am.

Gainers outnumbered losers 140 to 43, after 79.1 million securities worth S$128.8 million changed hands.

Mapletree Logistics Trust was one of the most traded counters by volume in the morning, rising S$0.04 or 2.2 per cent to S$1.87 after about three million units were traded.

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Other actives included CapitaLand Commercial Trust, which was up S$0.01 or 0.6 per cent to S$1.63 with 2.9 million units changing hands, and Thai Beverage, up 0.5 Singapore cent or 0.8 per cent to 64.5 cents on 2.4 million units traded.

Among the most traded counters by value, City Developments Ltd rose S$0.14 or 1.9 per cent to S$7.52 on 1.2 million shares traded.

All three local banks gained ground in early trade, as DBS increased S$0.16 or 0.8 per cent to S$19.34, OCBC was up S$0.09 or 1.1 per cent to S$8.58, while UOB rose S$0.21 or 1.1 per cent to S$19.67.

US markets were closed on Monday for the Memorial Day public holiday.

Meanwhile, European shares rose in thin trading on Monday, as optimism over reopening of countries and signs of more stimulus for the coronavirus-hit eurozone economy helped sentiment.

The eurozone stock index rose 0.9 per cent, with the pan-European Stoxx 600 up 0.6 per cent and Germany's DAX up 1.2 per cent.

Elsewhere in Asia, Tokyo stocks opened higher after Japan lifted a nationwide state of emergency over the coronavirus. The benchmark Nikkei 225 index was up 0.86 per cent or 177.91 points at 20,919.56 in early trade, while the broader Topix index edged up 0.67 per cent or 10.03 points to 1,512.23.

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