Singapore shares closed 0.43 percent higher on Tuesday, as investors shrugged off news that much of the US government may begin to shut down on a budget impasse, which could crimp growth in the world's largest economy.
US President Barack Obama urged Republicans in Congress to reach an eleventh-hour deal to avert any economic harm. A prolonged shutdown could have a major impact on the US economy and consumer confidence. As many as 1 million federal employees could face unpaid furloughs. But it is unlikely to affect the US sovereign credit rating.
Phillip Securities Research earlier tipped for the Straits Times Index's performance to hinge on the outcome of the US government spending cuts.
"There are concerns that a shutdown may stunt economic growth," it said.
OCBC Investment Research said the Straits Times Index will find resistance at 3,200 points and support at 3,180 points, and expects to see it trading sideways ahead of US nonfarm payrolls Friday, as investors await more indicators on the health of the US economy and cues on the Federal Reserve's plans for rolling back its fiscal stimulus package.
Singapore's benchmark Straits Times Index rose 13.63 points to 3,181.50 points. Trading volume was 3.68 billion shares worth 1.14 billion Singapore dollars (912 million U.S. dollars). Advancers outnumbered decliners 242 to 190, while 527 stocks did not move.
Ezion jumped 4.1 percent to close at 2.29 Singapore dollars. It is proposing to inject its marine supply base asset into Ocean Sky at cost via a share swap. Post exercise, Ezion will hold 45.15 percent in Ocean Sky while the latter will have a 2 percent stake in Ezion.
Mermaid Maritime jumped 8.8 percent to close at 31 Singapore cents. It is proposing to place up to 58.1 million shares, at an issue price of 28 Singapore cents to raise gross proceeds of up to 16.3 million Singapore dollars. The proceeds will be mainly used for investment in drilling rigs or sub-sea vessels and acquisitions of additional machineries.
Otto Marine gained 3 percent to 68 Singapore cents.. It had entered into two bareboat charter agreements worth 32 million U.S. dollars, to charter to its Malaysia partners.
Among the top gainers, Jardine Matheson rose 1.1 percent to close at 55.49 U.S. dollars, while Jardine Cycle and Carriage became one of the top losers by dropping 2.7 percent to end at 37. 11 Singapore dollars. (1 U.S. dollar = 1.25 Singapore dollars)