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Singapore shares open sharply higher on Wednesday; STI up 1.17% to 3,276.49

SINGAPORE shares jumped after trading began on Wednesday, in line with regional markets and a US stock rally overnight, as investors looked to a G-20 breakthrough in US-China trade talks and easing signals at a US Federal Reserve rate-setting meeting set to close in Washington on Wednesday.

The Straits Times Index surged 37.76 points or 1.17 per cent to 3,276.49 as at 9.03am.

About 48.2 million shares worth S$89.2 million changed hands, which worked out to an average unit price of S$1.85 per share.

Gainers outnumbered losers 125 to 21, making for a ratio of almost 6 to 1.

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The most actively traded security was Rex International, which traded up S$0.004 or 5.97 per cent to S$0.071 with 11 million shares changing hands. Other actives included Y Ventures and Yangzijiang Shipbuilding.

Among financials, DBS reversed its recent declines, trading up S$0.67 or 2.7 per cent to S$25.47; UOB continued its trek upwards this week, up S$0.54 or 2.1 per cent at S$26.14, and OCBC rounded off a healthy start for banks, trading up S$0.22 or 2 per cent to S$11.17.

Among other index stocks, Singtel rose S$0.01 or 0.3 per cent at S$3.38 with about 1.7 million shares changing hands. 

Around Asia, Japan's Nikkei rose 1.7 per cent, Hong Kong's Hang Seng jumped 2.6 per cent, while South Korea and Australia were up 1 per cent. Shanghai bucked the trend, turning 0.25 per cent weaker. 

The US S&P 500 rose 1 per cent, while the tech-rich Nasdaq Composite Index advanced 1.4 per cent.

In Europe, the FTSE 100 index ended 1.2 per cent higher and the STOXX 600 closed up 1.67 per cent.

"Sentiment once again drives the price movements for Asia markets ahead of the Fed meeting in light of the reigniting of hopes on US-China trade. Early movers in the region across the likes of the ASX 200 and the Nikkei 225 had both risen by more than 1 per cent when last checked, notably with the Australian ASX chalking up another fresh recent high now above the 6600 level," said IG market strategist Jingyi Pan.

"Watch whether some sense of caution could set in later in the day with the Fed meeting conclusion on the horizon and prices leaping into overbought territory on the RSI."

The RSI or relative strength index is a momentum indicator that measures the magnitude of recent price changes to evaluate overbought or oversold conditions in stock prices.