Singapore shares closed 0.14 percent higher on Friday, buoyed by a tame inflation report from China, but investors remained cautious over tense situation in Ukraine.
China's consumer prices rose 1.8 percent in April from a year earlier, while producer prices fell 2.0 percent inflation in April. The latest data was broadly in line with market expectations.
But investors were wary on the Ukraine crisis. Pro-Moscow separatists in eastern Ukraine ignored Russian President Vladimir Putin's call to postpone a referendum on self-rule, declaring they would go ahead on Sunday with a vote that some fear could lead to war.
Singapore's benchmark Straits Times Index rose 4.44 points to 3, 252.13 points. Trading volume was 1.67 billion shares worth 1.11 billion Singapore dollars. But decliners outnumbered advancers 235 to 153, while 553 stocks did not move.
Voyage Research said "The Straits Times Index has been relatively quite over the last few trading days and we expect the market to remain range-bound with support at 3,220 points."
Phillip Securities Research said "price was negotiating a six month high resistance at 3,280 points. A successful break implies further short term upside."
Among top actives, Wilmar International lost 3.9 percent to 3. 21 Singapore dollars. Its first-quarter core net profit came in at 215 million U.S. dollars, down 31 percent on-year, and revenue at 10.27 billion U.S. dollars, flat on-year. Higher crude palm oil prices were offset by lower prices of sugar and consumer pack oils.
ST Engineering inched down 0.5 percent to 3.84 Singapore dollars. It reported first-quarter net profit up 2 percent on-year to 137.2 million Singapore dollars on the back of flat revenues of about 1.55 billion Singapore dollars. Order win momentum continued to impress in the first quarter, with more than 1 billion Singapore dollars worth of new contracts announced publicly, led by Aerospace and Electronics divisions. Order-book now stands at 13.4 billion Singapore.
Cosco Corporation inched up 0.7 percent to 73.5 Singapore cents. It has secured a 184 million U.S. dollar contract from Derwent Ocean, part of Foresight Group to build one unit Jack-up Drilling Rig. Foresight is a repeat customer of Cosco with an existing jack- up rig under construction at Dalian yard. The Rig is scheduled to be delivered in the third quarter of 2016.
Among top gainers, UOB rose 2 percent to 22.45 Singapore dollars, while Jardine Cycle and Carriage became one of the top losers by falling 1.9 percent to 43.53 Singapore dollars. (1 U.S. dollar equals to 1.25 Singapore dollars)