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Singapore stocks open higher on positive NODX figures; STI up 0.4%

SINGAPORE shares opened higher on Friday as the Republic's non-oil domestic exports (NODX) figures extended gains in September, boosting investor sentiment.

The benchmark Straits Times Index (STI) rose 0.4 per cent or 11.20 points to 2,534.82 as at 9.06am. Some 73.7 million securities worth S$72.2 million changed hands, as advancers outnumbered decliners 98 to 32.

On Friday morning, Enterprise Singapore (ESG) announced that the country's NODX rose 5.9 per cent year on year due primarily to an increase in electronics shipments from its year-ago low base. Although the figure fell short of analysts' expectations of an 11.5 per cent rise in a recent Bloomberg poll, it extended gains of 5.9 per cent and 7.7 per cent in July and August respectively.

Shares of Malaysian glove makers rose on Friday despite the US Department of Labor adding rubber gloves manufactured in Malaysia to a list of goods produced by forced labour on Thursday.

The trio of glove manufacturers began the day higher. Top Glove Corporation gained S$0.03 or 1 per cent to S$3.07, Riverstone Holdings rose S$0.06 or 1.6 per cent to S$3.93, while UG Healthcare edged up S$0.02 or 2 per cent to S$1.02.

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Local lenders also advanced in early trade. DBS added S$0.05 or 0.2 per cent to S$21.12, UOB put on S$0.09 or 0.5 per cent to S$19.55, while OCBC rose S$0.09 or 1 per cent to S$8.72.

Jardine Matheson Holdings and Jardine Cycle and Carriage were among the top decliners. The former lost US$0.38 or 0.9 per cent to US$41.44, while the latter shed S$0.16 or 0.8 per cent to S$20.17.

Shares of New Silkroutes Group tumbled 22.8 per cent or 2.6 Singapore cents to 8.8 cents after its non-independent, non-executive chairman Goh Jin Hian and finance director William Teo Thiam Chuan resigned last night. Dr Goh quit to "focus on personal matters and to pursue other interests", while Mr Teo stepped down "to devote more time to his personal affairs", the company said in a bourse filing late Thursday evening.

US stocks closed lower for the third day in a row on Thursday amid rising doubts over a potential stimulus package. Additionally, investor sentiment was dampened by the reinstatement of Covid-19 restrictions by European governments in a bid to curb the spread of the virus.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average shed 0.1 per cent to close at 28,494.20, the S&P 500 fell 0.2 per cent to finish at 3,483.34, while the Nasdaq Composite Index lost 0.5 per cent to 11,713.87.

Elsewhere in Asia, stock markets opened mostly lower on Friday. The Nikkei 225 index slipped 0.1 per cent, the broader Topix index shed 0.3 per cent, while the Hang Seng Index declined 0.5 per cent.

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