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Singapore shares open higher on Friday; STI up 0.22% to 3,176

SINGAPORE shares found higher ground on Friday morning following gains in US and Europe markets that were supported by various stronger company earnings. The Straits Times Index (STI) gained 7.13 points or 0.22 per cent to 3,176 as at 9.05am.

About 47.4 million shares worth about S$40 million changed hands, which worked out to an average unit price of about S$0.84 per share.

Gainers outnumbered losers 57 to 39.

TEE International saw high trading volume, up S$0.003 or 6.1 per cent to S$0.052 after 16.9 million shares changed hands, while Golden Agri-Resources advanced S$0.005 or 2.3 per cent to S$0.225 with three million shares traded.

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Among financials, DBS gained S$0.03 or 0.1 per cent to S$25.11, and UOB gained S$0.12 or 0.5 per cent to S$26.14. OCBC, whose shares were thinly traded, was flat at S$10.74.

SGX gained S$0.15 or 1.8 per cent to S$8.43, following news on Thursday that it was licensing its iEdge-FactSet Global Internet Index to Nikko Asset Management, which will adopt the index for exchange-traded fund listing.

Suntec Reit, trading cum dividend, was flat at S$1.89 following the release of its third quarter results, where distribution per unit fell 5.1 per cent mainly due to an enlarged unit base.

Wall Street stocks finished mostly higher on Thursday, with strong results from Tesla and Microsoft offsetting weak profits from Ford and some other companies.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average finished down 0.1 per cent at 26,805.53. The broad-based S&P added 0.2 per cent to close at 3,010.29, leaving it within close distance of an all-time record, while the tech-rich Nasdaq Composite Index jumped 0.8 per cent to end the day at 8,185.80.

Electric carmaker Tesla surged 17.7 per cent after reporting a surprise profit of US$143 million, confounding analysts who had been forecasting a loss.

Tech giant Microsoft gained 2 per cent as it reported a 21 per cent increase in quarterly profits to US$10.7 billion on its thriving cloud computing business.

With no fireworks from European Central Bank chief Mario Draghi's last policy meeting on Thursday, encouraging results from German heavyweights and British drugmaker AstraZeneca drove European stocks to their strongest close since January 2018.

The pan-European stocks index rose 0.6 per cent to 397.37, its strongest closing level in over 20 months.

Elsewhere in Asia, Japan's benchmark Nikkei 225 index was up 0.1 per cent or 22.47 points at 22,773.07 in early trade, while the broader Topix index was up 0.1 per cent or 1.57 points at 1,645.31.