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Singapore shares edge up at Friday’s open; STI up 0.5%

Singapore shares edge up at Friday’s open; STI up 0.5%

SINGAPORE stocks opened stronger on Friday (Mar 8) following overnight gains on global markets amid rate cut hopes.

The Straits Times Index (STI) rose 0.5 per cent or 14.53 points to 3,148.31 as at 9.02 am. Across the broader market, gainers outnumbered losers 94 to 27 after 61.4 million securities worth S$76.2 million changed hands.

The most active counter by volume was Seatrium : S51 0%, which held steady at S$0.09 with 8.5 million shares changing hands. Other heavily traded securities included Singtel : Z74 +1.27%, which rose 1.3 per cent to S$2.40 with 6.3 million shares transacted, as well as Prime US Reit : OXMU +4.42%, gaining 5.3 per cent at US$0.119 with 2.9 million shares traded.

Banking stocks rose in early morning trade. DBS : D05 -0.06% was trading up 0.3 per cent or S$0.10 at S$33.88. UOB : U11 +0.35% was up 0.2 per cent or S$0.06 to S$28.36, while OCBC : O39 +0.38% rose 0.1 per cent, or S$0.01 to S$13.09.

US indices closed Thursday higher amid a midweek bounce fuelled by tech stocks. Federal Reserve chair Jerome Powell’s remarks also spurred rate cut hopes, as he signalled the economy was on the right track. The broad-based S&P 500 closed up 1 per cent to hit a new record of 5,157.36, while the tech-heavy Nasdaq soared by 1.5 per cent to a fresh high of 16,273.38. The Dow Jones Industrial Average closed 0.3 per cent higher at 38,791.35.

Over in Europe, the European Central Bank kept rates steady on signs of cooling inflation, lifting investor sentiments. The pan-European Stoxx 600 hit an all-time high at 1.1 per cent higher, with the rate-sensitive technology sector climbing 2.3 per cent to a December 2000 peak.

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