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Singapore shares rise at Tuesday's open despite HK, trade woes; STI up 0.38%

SINGAPORE equities advanced in early morning trade on Tuesday, recovering from the previous day’s losses, despite a fresh escalation of violence in Hong Kong and lingering uncertainty over progress towards a US-China trade deal.

The Straits Times Index (STI) rose 0.38 per cent or 12.33 points to 3,252.98 points as at 9.02am on Tuesday.

Gainers outnumbered losers 92 to 38, after 48.8 million securities worth S$52.6 million changed hands.

The most heavily traded counter was Tritech Group, which surged 25 per cent or 0.5 Singapore cent to 2.5 cents on 8.4 million shares changing hands as at 9.04am. Golden Agri-Resources was flat at S$0.23 with about 3 million shares traded, while Aims Apac Reit was unchanged at S$1.40 on 2.2 million units traded.

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Banking stocks started the morning in positive territory. DBS increased 0.38 per cent or 10 cents to S$26.74, UOB gained 0.34 per cent or nine cents to S$26.95, and OCBC rose 0.18 per cent or two cents to S$11.13 as at 9.04am.

Other active STI counters included Mapletree Commercial Trust (MCT), which climbed 2.27 per cent or five cents to S$2.25. MCT on Monday night said it had raised S$460.5 million from its preferential offering which was 1.45 times subscribed.

Meanwhile, ST Engineering moved up 2.25 per cent or nine cents to S$4.09 at 9.04am, after announcing a 3.4 per cent rise in net profit for the third quarter.

The mild gains on the Singapore bourse came after a negative day for most global stock markets. At the end of trading on Monday, Asian equity markets including Singapore had posted sizeable losses, with the STI faltering 0.7 per cent.

In Hong Kong, riot police fired tear gas at a university campus on Tuesday, one day after a protester was shot and a man set on fire in some of worst violence to rock the city in more than five months of anti-government demonstrations.

Tokyo stocks opened almost flat on Tuesday, as cautious traders fretted over the US-China trade deal and fresh unrest in Hong Kong.

In the US, Wall Street mostly closed lower on Monday in a quiet holiday session, although Boeing’s announcement on returning its 737 MAX to service provided a slight boost to the Dow Jones Industrial Average.