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Singapore shares rise at Wednesday's open tracking US gains; STI up 0.3%

SINGAPORE stocks started the day higher on Wednesday amid stronger openings from several index counters and major US indices closing in positive territory on Tuesday.

Singapore's Straits Times Index (STI) headed up 0.3 per cent or 8.17 points to 2,471.46 as at 9.04am.

Gainers outnumbered losers 89 to 33, after 62.8 million securities worth S$59.1 million changed hands.

The most active counter by volume was Vicplas International, which rose 2.3 per cent or S$0.01 to S$0.45 with 7.1 million shares changing hands.

Other heavily traded securities included Aspen (Group) Holdings which rose 6.5 per cent or 1.2 Singapore cents to 19.7 cents, with 6.5 million shares traded, as well as Medtecs International, which advanced 3.4 per cent or S$0.04 to S$1.22, with 5.7 million shares traded.

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Tech plays Venture Corporation, AEM Holdings, UMS Holdings and Hi-P International opened higher on Wednesday.

Tech stocks in Singapore have seen particular selling pressure. Market watchers said this may be related to a general repositioning among investors globally, as they move out of the early pandemic plays.

As at 9.04am, Venture was trading up 1.1 per cent or S$0.20 to S$19.18, AEM rose 0.3 per cent or S$0.01 to S$3.56, UMS advanced 1.6 per cent or 1.5 Singapore cents to 95.5 cents, while Hi-P International gained 1 per cent or S$0.01 to S$1.06.

Banking stocks meanwhile, were mixed in early morning trade. DBS was trading up 0.2 per cent or S$0.04 at S$19.78, UOB was down 0.2 per cent or S$0.04 to S$18.97, while OCBC declined 0.1 per cent or S$0.01 to S$8.40.

Other active index counters included Singtel which was up 0.9 per cent or S$0.02 to S$2.18 and the Singapore Exchange, which was up 0.6 per cent or S$0.05 to S$8.95.

Major US indices closed in positive territory on Tuesday for the first time in three sessions after testimony from top government officials rekindled hopes for more stimulus from Congress.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average was up 0.5 per cent to 27,288.18, the S&P 500 rose 1.1 per cent to 3,315.57, while the tech-rich Nasdaq Composite Index advanced 1.7 per cent to end at 10,963.63.

Elsewhere in Asia, Tokyo stocks opened lower on Wednesday. The Nikkei 225 index was down 0.4 per cent to 23,256.44 in early trade, while the Topix index fell 0.4 per cent to 1,639.39.

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