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Singapore shares open higher on Friday; STI up 0.3%

SINGAPORE stocks opened slightly stronger on Friday, with the benchmark Straits Times Index (STI) gaining 8.32 points or 0.3 per cent to 2,459.14 as at 9am.

Gainers outnumbered losers 86 to 30, after some 35.8 million securities worth S$33 million changed hands.

Among the index securities, the most heavily traded by volume was Singapore Telecommunications, which added S$0.02 or 0.9 per cent to S$2.14, with 4.5 million shares traded.

Meanwhile, ComfortDelGro rose S$0.02 or 1.4 per cent to S$1.44, with 776,000 shares changing hands.

Banking stocks were up in early trade. DBS gained S$0.07 or 0.4 per cent to S$19.87, UOB inched up S$0.03 or 0.2 per cent to S$18.98, while OCBC advanced S$0.05 or 0.6 per cent to S$8.42.

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OCBC on Thursday said it has priced S$200 million in 3 per cent perpetual capital securities that are first callable in 2030. Net proceeds from the issuance will be used for general corporate purposes, the lender said.

Other actively traded securities include Top Glove, which rose S$0.09 or 3.2 per cent to S$2.87 on a cum-dividend basis. Fellow glove play Riverstone also posted gains on Friday morning, rising S$0.08 or 2.3 per cent to S$3.57.

Over on Wall Street, US stocks rallied on Thursday following a choppy session, as investors weighed mixed economic data with news of efforts to enact further stimulus in Washington.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average put on 0.2 per cent to 26,815.44, the broad-based S&P 500 gained 0.3 per cent to 3,246.59, while the tech-rich Nasdaq Composite Index advanced 0.4 per cent to 10,672.27.

European equities slipped on Thursday, with UK markets leading the way after the British government launched a scaled-back jobs support programme, while a second wave of Covid-19 cases across the continent dampened investor sentiment. The pan-European Stoxx 600 index fell 1 per cent to close at its lowest level since Aug 3, with the retail, oil & gas, and financial services sectors dropping the most.

Elsewhere in Asia, Tokyo stocks opened higher on Friday, supported by gains on Wall Street overnight. The benchmark Nikkei 225 index was up 0.6 per cent or 133.49 points to 23,221.31 in early trade, while the broader Topix index advanced 0.6 per cent or 9.18 points to 1,635.62.

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