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Singapore shares open higher on Tuesday

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SINGAPORE share prices opened higher on Tuesday with the Straits Times Index up 0.04 per cent or 1.15 point to 3,122.66 at 9.08 am.

This bucked the trend in Tokyo markets and Wall Street. Tokyo shares opened lower on Tuesday, with the Nikkei 225 index down 0.28 per cent to 19,325.14 in the first few minutes of trading, while the Topix index of all first-section issues was down 0.12 per cent at 1,552.96.

On Wall Street, US stocks pulled back amid concerns about political uncertainty and higher interest rates. The Dow Jones Industrial Average dropped 0.2 per cent to end the day at 20,954.34. The broad-based S&P 500 shed 0.3 per cent to 2,375.31, while the tech-rich Nasdaq Composite Index dropped 0.4 per cent to 5,849.17.

On the Singapore bourse, the most active stocks as at 9.08 am were GSS Energy, up 3.4 per cent to S$0.182; Noble, flat at S$0.22; and ISR Capital, up 15 per cent to S$0.046.

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ISR Capital resumed trading after a suspension by the Singapore Exchange (SGX) on Nov 27, 2016, and had crashed S$0.087 or 69 per cent to S$0.04 on volume of 408 million on Monday. It has recently emerged that John Soh, who is alleged to have been one of the manipulators of Asiasons, Blumont and LionGold, is also being investigated for allegedly manipulating ISR Capital as well as being involved in the company's management.

Noble on Tuesday announced the pricing of its proposed issue of US$750 million 8.75 per cent notes due 2022. But credit rating agency Moody's has kept its junk bond rating for Noble's proposed new bonds, warning that the rating could be downgraded if the firm's cashflow from operations remains consistently weak and liquidity deteriorates further.

Overall on SGX, 119.1 million shares worth S$81.4 million changed hands as at 9.08 am. Gainers outnumbered losers 104 to 59.