Singapore shares closed almost flat on Tuesday, as investors shrugged off rise in the U.S. stocks overnight.
Given the latest U.S. economic data, the weakness was put down to bad weather. Investors focused instead on a string of merger and acquisition activity which very much signaled growing confidence among business leaders.
Meanwhile, a surprise improvement in German business morale added to optimism over the Euro-zone's recovery. A one-notch increase in Spain's sovereign debt rating by Moody's Investors Service Inc also helped lift market sentiment.
The benchmark Straits Times Index fell 2.22 points to close at 3,103.62 points. Trading volume was 2.12 billion shares worth 1.02 billion Singapore dollars. Decliners outnumbered advancers 221 to 202, while 521 stocks closed unchanged.
DBS Group Research said "Beyond first quarter, we maintain our view for the Straits Times Index to head towards 3,350 points."
Yongnam Holdings closed flat at 24 Singapore cents. Its consortium has been invited by the authorities of Myanmar to resubmit its proposal by April 22 for the design, construction, operation and maintenance of the Hanthawaddy International Airport and its facilities on the basis of a public-private partnership agreement for a 30-year concession period.
Pan-United Corporation rose 2.2 percent to 93 Singapore cents. It reported a 37 percent rise in quarterly net profit attributable to equity holders to 11.98 million Singapore dollars, up from 8.75 million Singapore dollars a year ago. Revenue was largely unchanged at 186.26 million Singapore dollars, compared to 186.38 million Singapore dollars in financial year 2012.
Cosco Corporation lost 1.4 percent to 69.5 Singapore cents. Its net profit for financial year 2013 slid 71 percent to 30.6 million Singapore dollars. This came on the back of a 6 percent decline in revenue to 3.51 billion Singapore dollars and a 34 percent fall in gross profit to 321.2 million Singapore dollars. The fall in turnover was largely due to lower shipyard revenue.
Among the top gainers, UOL rose 2 percent to 6.02 Singapore dollars, while Jardine Matheson became one of the top losers by falling 0.6 percent to 55.95 U.S. dollars. (1 U.S. dollar equals to 1.26 Singapore dollars)