Singapore shares closed 0.06 percent higher in fairly low trading volume on Monday, as several markets in Asia and Europe remained closed for the Easter holiday and in the absence of any catalyst for investors.
Investors' sentiment continued to be weighed by situation in Ukraine. At least three people were killed in a gunfight in the early hours of Sunday near a Ukrainian city controlled by pro- Russian separatists, shaking an already fragile international accord that was designed to avert a wider conflict. The U.S., Russia, Ukraine and the European Union had earlier called for an immediate halt to violence.
The benchmark Straits Times Index inched up 2.03 points to close at 3,255.83 points. Trading volume was 1.72 billion shares worth 766 million Singapore dollars. Decliners outnumbered advancers 228 to 185, while 529 stocks closed unchanged.
DBS Group Research said "the Straits Times Index is due for a pullback now that the month-long rally has lifted it to the near- term resistance currently at around 3,250 points. The 2 downward retracement levels are at 3,210 points and 3,180 points."
StarHub dropped 0.7 percent to 4.12 Singapore dollars. It will start charging 2.14 Singapore dollars per month for its 4G mobile service from June 2014 onwards versus its current promotional free offer. The company may further raise the extra charge for 4G to 10. 70 Singapore dollars per month at a later unspecified date.
Sarine Technologies rose 1.1 percent to 2.69 Singapore dollars. It announced the launch of its new laser diamond sawing and shaping system - the QuazerTM 3. The original QuazerTM and second generation QuazerTM II introduced multiple breakthroughs in the sawing, cutting and shaping of rough diamonds and became the de- facto high-end market-leading solutions.
Transcu Group closed flat at 0.2 Singapore cents. It has signed a sale and purchase agreement for potential reverse take-over of Straits Construction Group. The purchase consideration will be between 325 million Singapore dollars and 338 million Singapore dollars. The consideration will be satisfied by the issue of new Transcu shares of 50 Singapore cents per share.
Among the top gainers, Jardine Cycle and Carriage rose 0.1 percent to 48.29 Singapore dollars, while Keppel Corporation became one of the top losers by falling 0.5 percent to 10.93 Singapore dollars. (1 U.S. dollar equals to 1.25 Singapore dollars)