Singapore shares closed 0.28 percent higher, as hopes grew that frantic talks in Washington to avert a U.S. debt default could lead to a deal just before the Oct. 17 deadline to lift the borrowing limit.
U.S. senate leaders could announce an agreement soon to raise the debt ceiling and reopen the government, a Senate aide said. Discussions were underway in which the Republican-controlled House, if it cooperated, could help speed up passage of any deal before the deadline.
If Washington does not reach a deal by Oct. 17, the government by law will no longer be able to add to the national debt, and will have to rely on incoming revenue and about 30 billion U.S. dollars in cash to pay the nation's many obligations.
Fitch Ratings has warned on Tuesday that it could cut the United States' prized AAA credit rating.
OCBC Investment Research said "should a last minute U.S. debt ceiling deal be struck, expect global risk appetite to snap back, possibly with a vengeance should a 'grand bargain' materialize, or else kicking the can down the road to early 2014 could see some ' buy on rumor, sell on fact' syndrome." The research house forecast a 3,140 points and 3,180 points range for the Singapore index.
Phillip Securities Research said "the Straits Times Index is expected to consolidate at current levels. Investors continue to be concerned over the U.S. government shutdown, and debt ceiling debate as the deadline of Oct. 17 approaches."
Singapore's benchmark Straits Times Index rose 8.78 points to 3, 174.03. Trading volume was 2.52 billion shares worth 1.11 billion Singapore dollars. Decliners outnumbered advancers 253 to 203, while 502 stocks did not move.
M1 Limited gained 0.9 percent to 3.49 Singapore dollars. Its third quarter net profit rose 19 percent year-on-year to 39.5 million Singapore dollars, which was in line with DBS Group Research's estimates. Its first nine month net profit of 120 million Singapore dollars comprises 75 percent of DBS Group Research's full year estimates.
Loyz Energy dropped 6.4 percent to 36.5 Singapore cents. It is proposing a private placement of 50 million new shares at an issue price of 35 Singapore cents per new share to raise a gross sum amounting to 17.5 million Singapore dollars.
The issue price represents a discount of approximately 9.8 percent to the last weighted average price. The net proceeds will enable the company to augment its working capital and give it the flexibility to apply to its existing projects now and in the future.
SIIC Environment jumped 14.3 percent to 11.2 Singapore cents. It is proposing to place 3.1 billion new shares priced at 8.5 Singapore cents per share. The issue price represents a discount of 13 percent to the last volume weighted average price. Net proceeds of 260.2 million Singapore dollars will be used to finance the Group's business expansion and to enlarge the general working capital of the Group.
Among top gainers, Jardine Strategic rose 0.4 percent to 34.28 U.S. dollars, while Jardine Cycle and Carriage became one of the top losers by falling 0.7 percent to 36.36 Singapore dollars. (1 U. S. dollar equals to 1.24 Singapore dollars)