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Singapore shares rise at Wednesday's open on US gains; STI up 0.6%

SINGAPORE stocks opened higher on Wednesday tracking overnight rises on Wall Street as polls began closing in the US presidential vote.

Singapore's Straits Times Index (STI) advanced 0.6 per cent or 13.91 points to 2,511.13 as at 9.04am.

Gainers outnumbered losers 98 to 31, or about three securities up for every one down, after 89.8 million securities worth S$81.9 million changed hands.

The most active counter by volume was Jiutian Chemical, up 6.2 per cent or 0.6 Singapore cent to 10.3 cents, with 50.6 million shares traded.

Other heavily traded securities included Sembcorp Marine, which rose 2.4 per cent or 0.3 Singapore cent to 12.6 cents, with 6.8 million shares traded, as well as Singtel, which was up 1 per cent or S$0.02 to S$2.07, with 2.9 million shares traded.

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AEM Holdings rose 2.6 per cent or S$0.09 to S$3.53 with 1.4 million shares traded. The company, which provides advanced chip testing solutions, on Tuesday posted a 77.4 per cent rise in Q3 net profit to S$24.3 million, from S$13.7 million a year ago.

Banking stocks rose in early morning trade. DBS was trading up 0.9 per cent or S$0.20 to S$21.63, OCBC increased 0.7 per cent or S$0.06 to S$8.63, while UOB rose 0.5 per cent or S$0.10 to S$19.55.

UOB on Wednesday morning posted a 40 per cent drop in net profit for its third quarter due to pre-emptive build-up of credit allowances. Net profit for the three months ended Sept 30, 2020, stood at S$668 million, compared with S$1.12 billion for the year-ago period.

Other active index counters included CapitaLand, which was up 0.4 per cent or S$0.01 to S$2.58. The property giant said on Tuesday evening that it expects financial performance for FY2020 to be materially adversely impacted, despite seeing "encouraging signs of recovery" in operating metrics for Q3.

Meanwhile, Wilmar International advanced 0.7 per cent or S$0.03 to S$4.33.

In the US, stocks enjoyed a buoyant Election Day session on Tuesday, amid investor hopes of a straightforward outcome to a contentious presidential campaign.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 2.1 per cent to finish at 27,480.03. The broad-based S&P 500 advanced 1.8 per cent to end at 3,369.16, while the tech-rich Nasdaq Composite Index gained 1.9 per cent to 11,160.57.

Elsewhere in Asia, Tokyo's key Nikkei 225 index opened more than 1.5 per cent higher on Wednesday. The benchmark Nikkei 225 index was up 1.5 per cent to 23,650.82 in early trade, while the broader Topix index gained 1.2 per cent to 1,626.79.

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