sgx trader
A trader looks at electronic screens on the dealing floor at DBS Bank's new headquarters in Singapore. REUTERS

Singapore shares ended higher on Thursday, tracking gains in other Asian equities, with lenders such as DBS Group and Oversea-Chinese Banking Corp emerging as top gainers.

Asian shares rose to a one-month high, and were on track for their best annual performance since 2009. Trading volumes were, however, low ahead of New-Year holidays.

Japanese and Australian shares were little changed, while benchmarks in Hong Kong and Seoul were higher.

MSCI world equity index, which tracks shares in 47 countries, also held near record highs, Reuters data showed. It has surged 21.5 percent this year.

The Straits Times Index was up 0.22 percent or 7 points to 3,399. It ended 0.4 percent higher on Wednesday, taking the year-to-date performance to about 18 percent.

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Among the advancers, lenders such as Oversea-Chinese Banking Corp gained 1.1 percent while DBS Group Holdings added 0.4 percent.

Singapore Press Holdings ended little changed at S$2.67. The company, which began a review of its media business last year, on Wednesday appointed Chua Hwee Song as the new chief financial officer, effective next year.

Property developer CapitaLand added 0.6 percent after it acquired an office building known as Main Airport Center (MAC) in Frankfurt, Germany for 245 million euros (S$392 million) through a joint venture.

The other active stocks included, Jiutian Chemical Group jumping 4.6 percent at 7 Singapore cents. Rowsley also rose 0.8 percent to 13 Singapore cents.

About 1.2 billion shares worth S$664 million changed hands, with gainers outnumbering losers 265 to 137.