Singapore shares closed 0.38 percent higher on Wednesday, following remarks from Russian President Vladimir Putin that allayed fears of an imminent military conflict in Ukraine and revived investor risk appetite.
Putin said Russia reserved the right to use all options to protect compatriots who were living in "terror" in Ukraine, but that force was not needed for now.
With Ukraine's tension easing, investors' focus now shifted back to fundamentals, notably Thursday's European Central Bank monetary policy meeting and Friday's U.S. non-farm payrolls report.
DBS Group Research said "we maintain our view that a lack lustre fourth quarter results season is likely to cap the index at or below 3,150 points through the month of March."
CIMB Research said "at current levels, we are neutral on the index. Closing above the resistance trend line and also the 3,154 points levels would likely mean that there is likely more upside from here."
The benchmark Straits Times Index rose 11.93 points to close at 3,116.64 points. Trading volume was 2.12 billion shares worth 1.16 billion Singapore dollars. Advancers slightly outnumbered decliners 221 to 214, while 519 stocks closed unchanged.
Amtek Engineering inched up 0.9 percent to 54.5 Singapore cents. It announced that it was buying over US precision engineering firm Interplex Industries for up to 210 million U.S. dollars. Interplex offers miniature precision metal, plastic and assembly solutions to a blue-chip customer base in a variety of industries, including the automotive, electrical, mobile devices and medical markets.
Ezra Holdings gained 2.9 percent to 1.08 Singapore dollars. It was awarded projects in Asia pacific and west Africa worth more than 125 million U.S. dollars. Work for projects is expected to begin in the first quarter of 2014.
Singapore Exchange Limited shed 0.9 percent to 6.75 Singapore dollars. It said securities trading declined 35 percent to 20.9 billion Singapore dollars in February. On a month-on-month basis, February 2014 stock trading was 7 percent down while daily average value was 2 percent lower to 1 billion Singapore dollars in February. As for derivatives volume, it fell 7 percent year-on- year to 8.1 million contracts though open interest rose 6 percent to 3.3 million contracts at the end of February.
Among the top gainers, Jardine Matheson rose 3.4 percent to 60 U.S. dollars, while UOB became one of the top losers by falling 1. 2 percent to 20.53 Singapore dollars. (1 U.S. dollar equals to 1. 27 Singapore dollars)