Singapore shares closed 0.02 percent lower on Monday, as most markets in Asia, the U.S. and Europe were shut on Friday and Monday for Easter.
The official manufacturing purchasing managers index for March showed China's factory output ran at its fastest in 11 months at a reading of 50.9, below 52.0 forecasts by economists but still signaling economic recovery may be accelerating. A private HSBC final purchasing managers index survey also rose to 51.6, up from February's 50.4.
But investors were concerned about growth in China as Beijing and Shanghai will implement strict property cooling measures as part of a central government crackdown on the overheated property market.
SIAS Research said "with today's tone likely to remain upside biased, we could see the index testing and potentially overcoming the 3,318 points resistance level." The research house pegged the next hurdle at 3,370 points, while immediate support at 3,300 points.
Phillip Securities Research said as long as the Straits Times Index stays above its key 3,250 points support, it is likely to challenge its 3,320 points resistance.
CIMB Research said "we are neutral on the index in the near term even though prices could continue to climb a tad more from here. Look for resistance near the 3,343 points levels."
Singapore's benchmark Straits Times Index fell 0.52 points to 3, 307.58 points. Trading volume was 2.77 billion shares worth 855.4 million Singapore dollars. Decliners outnumbered advancers 244 to 206, while 498 stocks did not move.
SMRT Corporation lost 2.5 percent to 1.54 Singapore dollars. The transport provider said it expects to report a net loss for the fourth quarter that ended on March 31, hurt by rising operating costs without corresponding fare adjustments. But it expects to have remained profitable for the full financial year.
Lian Beng Group shed 1.1 percent to 44 Singapore cents. Its wholly owned subsidiary Wealth Development Private Limited has purchased a freehold commercial plot for 68 million Singapore dollars.
Among top gainers, Jardne Matheson rose 2.1 percent to 66.48 U. S. dollars, while UOB became one of the top losers by falling 1.4 percent to 20.10 Singapore dollars. (1 U.S. dollar equals to 1.24 Singapore dollars)