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Singapore shares rise ahead of new Solidarity Budget; STI up 1.3% at open

SINGAPORE stocks made gains on Monday morning ahead of a third major government package to be announced in the afternoon.

The new Solidarity Budget will contain support measures for workers, businesses and households amid a month-long closure of most workplaces.

The benchmark Straits Times Index (STI) rose 1.3 per cent or 29.8 points to 2,419.09 as at 9.06am on Monday.

This came after the STI had posted the worst finish in Asia on Friday as investor sentiment sank following news of the Republic's four-week "circuit breaker" to stem the spread of the novel coronavirus.

At Monday's open, gainers outnumbered losers 127 to 41, or about three stocks up for every one down, after 76.6 million securities worth S$101.6 million changed hands.

Among the most active counters by volume was Thai Beverage Public Co, which rose 2.5 per cent or 1.5 Singapore cents to 61.5 cents on 6 million shares traded. 

Genting Singapore gained 0.8 per cent or 0.5 Singapore cent to trade at 65.5 cents with 3.2 million shares changing hands. The gaming giant, which owns Resorts World Sentosa (RWS), on Monday said it was temporarily suspending all RWS attractions until May 4 in line with the government's "circuit-breaker" measures.

Mapletree Commercial Trust rose 1.3 per cent or S$0.02 to S$1.52, with 2.4 million units traded as at 9.05am. 

The trio of local banks were all in the green shortly after the opening bell. DBS was up 1 per cent or S$0.18 at S$18.10 as at 9.05am, UOB gained 1.6 per cent or S$0.30 to S$19.10, while OCBC rose 2.4 per cent or S$0.20 to S$8.58. 

Other active index counters included the Singapore Exchange, which rose 1.7 per cent or S$0.15 to S$9.24.

Singtel gained 1.2 per cent or S$0.03 to S$2.61, while Mapletree Logistics Trust gained S$0.02 or 1.3 per cent to S$1.52.

Elsewhere in Asia, Tokyo's key Nikkei index was higher in early trade on Monday after reports said the Japanese government may declare a state of emergency this week to contain the coronavirus.

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