Singapore shares closed 0.11 percent higher on Tuesday, as a surprising rise in U.S. retail sales boosted sentiment.
U.S. retail sales unexpectedly rose in April, prompting market talk that the U.S. Federal Reserve could scale back its aggressive bond-buying program aimed at supporting growth, which has helped drive prices of risk assets higher.
Phillip Securities Research said "notwithstanding yesterday's pull back, Straits Times Index is on track to challenge the 3,485 points level as long as it remains above 3,250 points key support. "
SIAS Research said market support is at the psychological 3,400 points level, while near-term resistance is at 3,447.73 points.
Singapore's benchmark Straits Times Index rose 3.80 points to 3, 432.76 points. Trading volume was 2.70 billion shares worth 1.38 billion Singapore dollars. Decliners and advancers each numbered 229, while 492 stocks did not move.
Golden Agri-Resources rose 5.6 percent to 56 Singapore cents. The palm oil producer in Indonesia said its net profit in the first three months of the year jumped 176 percent to 113 million U. S. dollars from the previous quarter, though it fell 30 percent from a year earlier.
Straits Trading Corporation jumped nearly 5.3 percent to 4.18 Singapore dollars. The company accepted an offer for its holdings in WBL Corporation from a group led by United Engineers Limited.
City Development dropped 1.2 percent to 11.46 Singapore dollars. The property developer reported a net profit of 137.6 million Singapore dollars for the quarter ended March 31, down 12.2 percent from a year earlier, due to a drop in earnings from hotel operations and other operating income.
Among top gainers, Yeo Hiap Seng Limited jumped 14.2 percent to 2.90 Singapore dollars, while Jardine Matheson became one of the top losers by falling 2 percent to 66.75 U.S. dollars. (1 U.S. dollar equals to 1.24 Singapore dollars)