Singapore shares closed 0.26 percent higher on Tuesday as investors positioned for the Federal Reserve's monetary policy meeting at which it might offer clues to the timing of its stimulus reduction.
Investors will also watch closely on the U.S. payrolls report on Friday, as an improving labor market would help determine the timing of Federal Reserve's stimulus reduction. The report is expected to show 185,000 jobs added in July, and a dip in the jobless rate to 7.5 percent.
Credit Suisse Research said increasing bond yields started the correction in ASEAN markets. In such times, the Singapore market should do relatively better than its regional peers, as there is unlikely to be a liquidity or solvency crisis given the country's large surpluses.
Phillip Securities Research said "although biased to the upside due encouraging macro-economic data, we remain cautious this week due to potential short term weakness and significant economic news. "
SIAS Research also said "we could see the index reversing back south in the direction of the 3,200 points psychological support with resistance pegged at 3,270 points."
Singapore's benchmark Straits Times Index rose 8.48 points to 3, 245.45 points. Trading volume was 2.19 billion shares worth 1.22 billion Singapore dollars. Decliners outnumbered advancers 202 to 195, while 557 stocks did not move.
Yoma Strategic Holdings fell 1.7 percent to 86.5 Singapore cents. The Myanmar-focused investment firm said its net profit fell nearly 81 percent to 420,000 Singapore dollars in the quarter ended June 30 due to higher administrative and operating costs, although its revenues grew almost 12 percent year on year.
United Envirotech and Memstar Technology sank 6.8 percent and 8. 1 percent to 95.5 Singapore cents and 9.1 Singapore cents respectively. United Envirotech, a membrane-based water treatment solution provider, has entered an agreement to buy a 100 percent stake in Memstar Private Limited, a wholly owned subsidiary of Memstar Technology, as well as certain assets from Memstar, for a total of 293.4 million Singapore dollars.
Swiber Holdings dropped 0.7 percent to 74.5 Singapore cents. Its special purpose vehicle Swiber Capital Private Limited has priced 150 million Singapore dollars in principal amount of a 6.50 percent fixed rate trust certificate due 2018, as part of Swiber's 500 million U.S. dollars multicurrency Islamic bond program.
Among top gainers, City Development rose 0.9 percent to 10.74 Singapore dollars, while Jardine Cycle and Carriage became one of the top losers by dropping 0.7 percent to 40.79 Singapore dollars. (1 U.S. dollar equals to 1.27 Singapore dollars)