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Singapore shares rise at Friday’s open; STI up 0.25%

SINGAPORE shares opened stronger on Friday, even as Wall Street stocks fell overnight amid conflicting signals on trade talks. 

The benchmark Straits Times Index rose 0.25 per cent, or 7.97 points to 3,200.18 as at 9.01am. 

Gainers outnumbered losers 61 to 30, after about 29.6 million shares worth S$37.8 million changed hands. 

Among the most heavily traded by volume, Tritech Group slipped 7 per cent, or 0.3 cent to four Singapore cents, with 5.3 million shares changing hands after it resumed trading following a halt. The water and environmental group has proposed a share placement of up to 110.8 million new shares at 3.88 Singapore cents each to raise some S$4.2 million for working capital requirements. 

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Meanwhile, Rex International gained 2.6 per cent, or 0.4 cent to 15.8 cents, with 3 million shares traded. 

Financials were also up in the early morning trade - DBS gained 0.2 per cent, or six cents to S$25.70, United Overseas Bank was up 0.6 per cent, or 15 cents to S$26.21, and OCBC Bank rose 0.4 per cent, or four cents to S$10.98. 

Other active index stocks included Singtel, which jumped 1.5 per cent or five cents to S$3.31, and Sembcorp Industries, which gained 0.9 per cent or two cents to S$2.20. 

SPH Reit fell 1.8 per cent, or two cents to S$1.09 on a cum-dividend basis. The Reit on Friday said it has raised S$164.5 million from a private placement to partially fund its proposed acquisition of a 50 per cent stake in a shopping centre in South Australia.

ISOTeam gained 2.1 per cent, or 0.5 cent to 24.5 cents after the Catalist-listed facilities maintenance specialist on Thursday evening said it has clinched fresh contracts totalling S$35.4 million

Addvalue Tech shot up 4.2 per cent, or 0.1 cent to 2.5 cents. This comes as the mainboard-listed firm announced that it has together with Inmarsat and Network Innovations, launched a mobile satellite terminal for US fishing vessels.

In the US, Wall Street edged lower overnight despite a reported offer from Beijing for a new round of face-to-face talks with US trade negotiators. The report came less than a day after US President Donald Trump criticised China's efforts to reach a trade agreement, escalating concerns that both sides won't be able to reach a deal this year. All three main indices slipped 0.2 per cent each by the closing bell on Thursday. 

Elsewhere in Asia, equities rose on Friday, though gains were capped by anxiety over the status of trade negotiations between the world's two largest economies. 

Japan's Nikkei gained 0.1 per cent, and Australian shares were up 0.5 per cent