Singapore shares closed 0.6 percent higher on Monday, after better-than-expected U.S. jobs and factory numbers pushed U.S. stocks higher last Friday.
U.S. nonfarm payrolls increased 215,000 and above market expectations while average hourly earnings rose seven cents, recovering from a slip in February. The unemployment rate rose to 5.0 percent from an eight-year low of 4.9 percent, though that was due to more people seeking work, a sign of confidence in the jobs market. Manufacturing data from the U.S. and China also eased concerns about slump in the global manufacturing activity.
DBS Group Research said"We maintain our view that Straits Times Index rally has stalled at 2,910 points and the short-term trend has turned sideways in the weeks ahead. We marginally tweak pullback support to 2,785 points and 2,730 points and keep resistance at 2,920 points."
Singapore's benchmark Straits Times Index rose 16.86 points to 2,835.35 points. Trading volume was 1.41 billion shares worth 743 million Singapore dollars. Advancers outnumbered decliners 200 to 182, while 536 stocks did not move.
Jaya Holdings jumped 7.6 percent to 42.5 Singapore cents. It announced that it has entered into a non-binding term sheet for the proposed acquisition of Papua New Guinea-based financial institution Heduru Moni's entire equity interest for 237.6 million Singapore dollars. Heduru Moni is the largest micro-lender in the country, engaging in the provision of personal loans, asset financing, term deposits and foreign currency payments.
Jaya plans to finance the acquisition through the allotment and issuance of 297 million new shares at the issue price of 60 Singapore cents per share. Jaya became a cash company following the sale of its offshore fleet and shipyards in June last year.
Among top gainers, City Development Limited rose 2.9 percent to 8.39 Singapore dollars, while Jardine Matheson became one of the top losers by falling 0.8 percent to 55.85 U.S. dollars. (1 U.S. dollar equals to 1.35 Singapore dollars)