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Singapore shares rise at Thursday's open; STI up 0.22% to 3,295.56

SINGAPORE stocks opened stronger on Thursday, with the Straits Times Index moving up 0.22 per cent or 7.39 points to 3,295.56 as at 9.01am, after the US Federal Reserve signalled possible interest rate cuts later this year.

Gainers outnumbered losers 71 to 49, or about three securities up for every two down, after 43.2 million securities worth S$56.4 million changed hands.

Among the most heavily traded by volume, Spackman Entertainment Group advanced 17.6 per cent or S$0.003 to S$0.02 with 6.4 million shares traded. Asian Pay Television Trust headed down 1.1 per cent or S$0.002 to S$0.175 with 3.5 million shares traded. ESR-Reit stayed unchanged at S$0.54 with 3.3 million shares traded.

Active index stocks included Singtel, up 0.3 per cent or S$0.01 to S$3.39; and Ascendas Real Estate Investment Trust, unchanged at S$2.99.

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Banking stocks also saw a mixed performance, with DBS Group Holdings up 0.9 per cent or S$0.24 to S$25.67; United Overseas Bank was down 0.1 per cent or S$0.02 to S$26.12; and OCBC Bank up 0.3 per cent or S$0.03 to S$11.21.

On Wall Street, the S&P 500 rose 0.30 per cent to 2,926, while the Dow Jones Industrial Average went up 0.15 per cent to end at 26,504 points. Meanwhile, the Nasdaq Composite gained 0.42 per cent to 7,987.

The Fed had said it was ready to guard against global and domestic economic risks with interest rate cuts as early as next month, keeping global trade tensions in view. 

In Europe, stocks finished with little changes ahead of the Fed decision, with the pan-European index STOXX 600 ending 0.05 per cent higher to close at 3,454, while Germany’s DAX 30 fell 0.2 per cent to close at 12,308.

Elsewhere in Asia, Tokyo stocks opened higher on the back of the Fed policy statement, with the benchmark Nikkei 225 index rising 0.44 per cent or 93.38 points to 21,427.25 in early trade. The broader Topix index was up 0.25 per cent or 3.82 points at 1,559.09.

Hong Kong's Hang Seng index opened 0.38 per cent higher to 28,308.85, rallying into a fourth straight day. Meanwhile, the Shanghai Composite index edged down 0.47 point to 2,917.33, and the Shenzhen Composite Index fell 0.08 per cent to 1,525.50. 

Eyes are also on a slew of Asia central bank meeting conclusions in Indonesia, the Philippines, Japan and Taiwan.