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Singapore shares rise at Friday's open; STI up 0.3%

SINGAPORE stocks opened higher on Friday following gains on Wall Street, after investors were encouraged by a better-than-expected US jobs report. 

Singapore's Straits Times Index (STI) rose 0.3 per cent or 6.78 points to 2,643.47 as at 9.04am. 

Gainers outnumbered losers 90 to 45, after 65.2 million securities worth S$58.5 million changed hands.

The most active counter by volume was Medtecs International, which rose 2.2 per cent or one Singapore cent to 47.5 cents with 8.1 million shares changing hands. 

Other heavily traded securities include NetLink NBN Trust, which rose 1 per cent or S$0.01 to S$0.97 with 4.4 million shares traded, and Thai Beverage Public Company, which was up 0.7 per cent or 0.5 Singapore cent to 68 cents with 4.2 million shares changing hands. 

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Banking stocks were mostly up in early trade. DBS advanced 0.9 per cent or S$0.20 to S$21.48, UOB rose 0.9 per cent or S$0.18 to S$20.83, while OCBC held steady at S$9.18. 

Other active index counters include Singtel, which was flat at S$2.51 on a cum-dividend basis.

Ascendas Real Estate Investment Trust fell 0.6 per cent or S$0.02 to S$3.26. This follows Hyflux's announcement on Thursday that the Reit is "not presently proceeding" with its application to be carved out of the water treatment firm's moratorium. 

In the US, Wall Street closed higher on Thursday, buoyed by an unexpectedly healthy US jobs report that bolstered hopes of an economic recovery. The Dow Jones Industrial Average gained 0.4 per cent to close at 25,827.36, the S&P 500 climbed 0.5 per cent to end at 3,130.01, while the Nasdaq advanced 0.5 per cent to finish at 10,207.63.

Elsewhere in Asia, Tokyo stocks opened higher on Friday, with the Nikkei 225 index up 0.6 per cent to 22,288.58 in early trade. Meanwhile, the broader Topix index rose 0.6 per cent to 1,552.16.

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