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Singapore shares rise at open tracking Wall Street gains; STI up 0.6%

SINGAPORE stocks opened higher on Tuesday following overnight gains on Wall Street and stronger openings from banks, partially offset by weaker openings from a few index counters. 

Singapore's Straits Times Index (STI) rose 0.6 per cent or 15.66 points to 2,500.57 as at 9.04am.

Gainers outnumbered losers 94 to 45, after 162.1 million securities worth S$87.3 million changed hands.

One of the most active counters by volume was AEM Holdings, which was up 9.3 per cent or S$0.34 to S$4 with four million shares changing hands. The semiconductor play on Monday reported a more than doubling in its first-half net profit to S$55.3 million, from S$22.3 million a year ago. 

Healthcare and pharmaceutical stocks were also actively traded in the morning, with Medtecs International advancing 1 per cent or S$0.01 to S$1.02 with 5.2 million shares changing hands.

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iX Biopharma was up 5.4 per cent or 1.5 Singapore cents to 29.5 cents with 2.6 million shares traded. The company on Tuesday said it received a second notice of allowance from the United States Patent and Trademark Office. This enhances intellectual property protection for Wafermine - iX Biopharma's lead drug. 

Meanwhile, Hyphens Pharma was up 2.6 per cent or 1.5 Singapore cents to 60 cents with 2.2 million shares traded, following news that the company expanded its brand portfolio with hair-loss products

Banking stocks rose in early morning trade. DBS was trading up 1.9 per cent or S$0.37 at S$19.82, UOB was up 1.3 per cent or S$0.24 to S$19.31, while OCBC rose 0.9 per cent or S$0.08 to S$8.60.

Other active index counters included Singtel which was down 2 per cent or S$0.05 to S$2.40, as well as Keppel Corp which was down 0.6 per cent or S$0.03 to S$5.15. 

In the US, the Nasdaq climbed to a fresh record on Monday, fuelled by Microsoft's potential takeover of TikTok, as markets monitored talks in Washington on another federal relief package. 

The Nasdaq Composite Index surged 1.5 per cent to 10,902.80 at the close. The Dow Jones Industrial Average gained 0.9 per cent to 26,664.40, while the broad-based S&P 500 climbed 0.7 per cent to 3,294.61.

Elsewhere in Asia, Tokyo stocks opened higher on Tuesday, extending the rallies of the previous session as a cheap yen and gains on Wall Street boosted market sentiment. The Nikkei 225 index was up 1 per cent to 22,413.38 in early trade, while the Topix index rose 1.2 per cent to 1,540.58.

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