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Singapore shares open higher on partial US-China deal; STI up 0.51% to 3,129.79

SINGAPORE shares rose strongly after trading began on Monday, following higher US and Europe market sessions on Friday. The markets were buoyed by US-China trade negotiations which yielded a partial deal that included a halt to tariffs scheduled for this week.

The Straits Times Index gained 15.82 points or 0.51 per cent to 3,129.79 as at 9.07am.

About 83.3 million shares worth about S$82.9 million changed hands, which worked out to an average unit price of about S$1 per share.

Gainers outnumbered losers 105 to 47.

The most actively traded security was Catalist-listed film producer and investor Spackman Entertainment which traded up S$0.001 or 7.7 per cent to S$0.014 after 8.2 million shares changed hands. This follows the announcement that its new South Korean film Crazy Romance will debut in 22 markets, including Singapore.

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Rex International also saw high volumes, up S$0.001 or 1.2 per cent to S$0.083 after 5.5 million shares were traded.

Among financials, all three local banks advanced with DBS up S$0.18 or 0.7 per cent to S$25.08, OCBC shares gaining S$0.06 or 0.6 per cent to S$10.80 and UOB up S$0.25 or 1 per cent to S$26.17.

Among other index stocks, Yangzijiang Shipbuilding was trading up S$0.02 or 2.1 per cent to S$0.99 with 3.6 million shares changing hands.

US stocks on Friday were boosted by news of a phase one deal in US-China trade negotiations. The Dow Jones Industrial Average ended at 26,816.59, up 1.2 per cent but well below session peaks as initial details about the agreement emerged in the final moments of the session.

The broad-based S&P 500 gained 1.1 per cent to 2,970.27, while the tech-rich Nasdaq Composite Index advanced 1.3 per cent to 8,057.04.

Analysts said the stock market's pullback in the final moments likely reflected disappointment that the interim agreement did not go further, and left in place existing tariffs.

European shares jumped on Friday after a surprise breakthrough in Brexit negotiations drove UK-focused London-listed companies and the Irish index about 4 per cent higher, while German shares logged their best day in nine months. But British Prime Minister Boris Johnson later played down hopes of a breakthrough in his last-ditch bid to strike an amicable divorce deal with the European Union.

JPMorgan's UK domestic plays index, which was created in 2017 and tracks about 30 UK stocks that make all or most of their revenue at home, ended 7.7 per cent higher, its best performance on record.

The pan-European STOXX 600 index rose 2.3 per cent with most major European indices gaining more than 1.5 per cent. The German index, packed with automakers exposed to UK demand, jumped 2.9 per cent.

Elsewhere in Asia, Japan financial markets are closed for holiday.

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