Singapore shares closed 0.95 percent higher on Monday, as investors bet China will loosen monetary policy following weekend Chinese data.
China's factory sector unexpectedly shrank for the first time in nearly two-and-half years last month and firms see more gloom ahead. The official Purchasing Managers' Index (PMI) fell to 49.8 in January, a low last seen in September 2012 and below the 50- point level that separates growth from contraction on a monthly basis.
Bank of America Merrill Lynch said the market is expecting loose monetary policy to jumpstart growth again. Deutsche Bank Research also predicted a 50 basis-point cut to Chinese banks' reserve ratio requirements in March and an interest rate cut sometime in the second quarter.