Singapore shares closed 0.09 percent higher, as investors bet the U.S. Federal Reserve will not start winding back its cheap money policies until next year.
The change in expectations followed a 16-day shutdown of the U. S. government that could cloud the economic outlook and make the central bank wary of scaling back its 85 billion U.S. dollar-a- month bond-buying program this year as many had expected.
Investors faced a deluge of U.S. data this week as government departments reopen, with the September nonfarm payrolls report due on Tuesday.
CIMB Research said "below 3,122 points would likely put the larger downtrend back in place, targeting 3,080 points and possibly even 2,990 points again."
The benchmark Straits Times Index inched up 2.86 points to close at 3,195.76 points. Trading volume was 4.34 billion shares worth 1.31 billion Singapore dollars. Advancers outnumbered decliners 314 to 126, while 514 stocks closed unchanged.
Among top actives, Blumont Group, Asiasons Capital and LionGold Corporation soared 80.5 percent, 91.4 percent and 92.8 percent to 24 Singapore cents, 24.5 Singapore cents and 29.5 Singapore cents, after Singapore Exchange lifted trading restrictions on the stocks. The bourse operator said on Friday it was lifting curbs on the three stocks, restoring their full access to the equity market, but added it would continue to monitor trading of all three.
SembCorp Industries rose 0.7 percent to 5.40 Singapore dollars. It will be investing 190 million Singapore dollars to develop the first and its most comprehensive total water management plant to support a coal-to-diesel project in China. The plant, to be located in Wangqiao Industrial Park in Changzhi City, Shanxi province, will support Shanxi Lu'an Group's coal-to-diesel project under a 15-year service agreement secured by Sembcorp's wholly owned subsidiary, Sembcorp China Holding.
People's Food gained 2.6 percent to 1.20 Singapore dollars. Its management intends to make a voluntary conditional offer for all the remaining shares either at 1.20 Singapore dollars in cash or one new ordinary share in the capital of the offeror.
Among the top gainers, OSIM International jumped 4.4 percent to 2.12 Singapore dollars, while Jardine Matheson became one of the top losers by dropping 2.9 percent to 54 U.S. dollars. (1 U.S. dollar equals 1.24 Singapore dollars)