Singapore shares closed 0.31 percent higher on Friday, buoyed by gains on the Wall Street overnight as investors took comfort in progress to avert a possible U.S. default, even as questions remained over whether a deal could be struck.
Republicans, who have not passed the budget funding, on Thursday offered a plan that would extend the U.S. government's borrowing authority for several weeks, staving off a default that could come as soon as Oct. 17. While no deal emerged from a meeting at the White House, the two sides said they would continue to talk.
"The bounce should continue for a while longer, probably testing the 3,198 points and 3,220 points resistance band," CIMB Research said.
DBS Group Research said that in the immediate term, a rise above 3,200 points should see resistance increasing towards 3,250 points.
"Investors will still rein in their enthusiasm unless the anticipated lack luster third quarter earnings season shows it can surprise on the upside," it added.
Phillip Securities Research said it expects the benchmark Straits Times Index to consolidate at current levels as "investors continue to be concerned over the U.S. government shutdown, and debt ceiling debate."
The Straits Times Index rose 9.8 points to close at 3,179.71. Trading volume was 2.95 billion shares worth 1.05 billion Singapore dollars (840 million U.S. dollars). Advancers outnumbered decliners 256 to 197, while 504 stocks finished unchanged.
Keppel Corporation rose 0.7 percent to close at 10.87 Singapore dollars. It has won a contract from Perforadora Central to build a KFELS B Class jack-up rig worth 240 million U.S. dollars, including owner furnished equipment.
LionGold Corporation sank 16.8 percent to 15.4 Singapore cents. The recent volatility in its share price had caused the gold miner to call off talks over a potential offer for Minera IRL, a Latin American precious metals mining company. Negotiations ended without any liability to each other.
Among the top gainers, Jardine Cycle and Carriage rose 2.8 percent to close at 36.6 Singapore dollars, while RH Petrogas became one of the top losers by falling 7.1 percent to 85.5 Singapore cents. (1 U.S. dollar equals 1.26 Singapore dollars)