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Singapore shares up 0.56% to 3,148.12 at Thursday's open as fears ease over Hong Kong, Brexit

SINGAPORE stocks opened stronger on Thursday, with the Straits Times Index rising 0.56 per cent or 17.55 points to 3,148.12 as at 9.02am on easing worries over Hong Kong and a no-deal Brexit. 

On the Singapore bourse, gainers outnumbered losers 71 to 37, or about two securities up for every one down, after 43.9 million securities worth S$64.8 million changed hands.

Among the most heavily traded by volume, Yangzijiang Shipbuilding Holdings advanced 2.7 per cent or S$0.025 to S$0.965 with 8.5 million shares traded. The Chinese shipbuilder had on Wednesday night announced it inked new order contracts for five vessels, including three 82,000DWT bulk carriers and two 325,000DWT bulk carriers.

Singtel headed up 0.9 per cent or S$0.03 to S$3.23 with 3.8 million shares traded, while Synagie advanced 3.4 per cent or S$0.005 to S$0.153 with 2.9 million shares traded.

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Active index stocks included Singapore Exchange, up 0.7 per cent or S$0.06 to S$8.41 on a cum-dividend basis; Ascendas Real Estate Investment Trust, 0.3 per cent or S$0.01 higher at S$3.21. 

Singapore stocks with significant exposure to Hong Kong extended their gains from Wednesday on news that Hong Kong leader Carrie Lam  formally withdrew a contested extradition bill.

Jardine Matheson Holdings, which has significant exposure to Hong Kong, rose 1.7 per cent or US$0.96 to US$56.20, tracking gains from the previous day which saw the counter rally 5.2 per cent on news that the territory's leader Carrie Lam formally withdrew a contested extradition bill. 

Property group Hongkong Land, however, slipped 2.2 per cent or US$0.13 to US$5.76 at open, reversing some of the 8.3 per cent gain from Wednesday. 

Banking stocks also opened stronger, with DBS Group Holdings up 0.3 per cent or S$0.07 to S$24.61; United Overseas Bank up 0.7 per cent or S$0.17 to S$25.27; and OCBC Bank, up 0.8 per cent or S$0.08 to S$10.79.

Elsewhere in Asia, Tokyo stocks opened higher on Thursday extending rallies on Wall Street. The Nikkei 225 index was up 0.97 per cent or 201.32 points at 20,850.46 in early trade, while the Topix index was up 0.86 per cent or 12.99 points at 1,519.80.

European shares also saw a lift on Wednesday following the formation of a new government and easing worries over Hong Kong, with the pan-European Stoxx 600 index rising 0.89 per cent at the close. Italy's FTSE MIB index rallied about 1.6 per cent, while the banking index jumped 1.75 per cent.

Wall Street stocks rallied on Wednesday following positive developments in Hong Kong and Brexit. The Dow Jones Industrial Average ended 0.9 per cent higher at 26,335.47. The S&P 500 gained 1.1 per cent to 2,937.78, while the Nasdaq Composite Index advanced 1.3 per cent to 7,976.88.