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Singapore shares rise at Friday's open; STI up 0.2%

SINGAPORE stocks opened slightly higher on Friday following gains on Wall Street as investors take heart from the prospect of more fiscal stimulus in the US economy.

Singapore's Straits Times Index (STI) rose 0.2 per cent or 3.81 points to 2,532.22 as at 9.03am.

Gainers outnumbered losers 71 to 49, after 46.3 million securities worth S$46.8 million changed hands.

One of the most active counters by volume was UG Healthcare Corporation, which rose 1.1 per cent or S$0.01 to S$0.93 with 3.2 million shares changing hands.

Other heavily traded securities included Jiutian Chemical which gained 1.2 per cent or 0.1 Singapore cent to 8.6 cents, with 2.5 million shares traded, as well as Mapletree Logistics Trust, which fell 1.9 per cent or S$0.04 to S$2.08.

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Banking stocks were mixed in early morning trade. DBS was trading up 0.2 per cent or S$0.04 to S$21.48, UOB dropped 0.3 per cent or S$0.05 to S$19.93, while OCBC advanced 0.2 per cent or S$0.02 to S$8.78.

Other active index counters included Wilmar International, which was down 0.5 per cent or S$0.02 to S$4.28, as well as Jardine Cycle & Carriage, which was up 0.9 per cent or S$0.17 to S$18.79.

In the US, stocks ended higher on Thursday in choppy trading, as investors cheered the prospect of more fiscal stimulus, with more data pointing to a slowing labour market recovery.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average closed up 0.5 per cent to 28,363.66, the S&P 500 advanced 0.5 per cent to 3,453.49 and the Nasdaq Composite added 0.2 per cent to 11,506.01.

Elsewhere in Asia, Tokyo stocks opened higher on Friday supported by rallies on Wall Street. The benchmark Nikkei index advanced 0.4 per cent to 23,559.40 in early trade, while the broader Topix index was up 0.4 per cent or 6.06 points at 1,625.85.

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