Singapore stocks snapped four-day gains on Monday, dragged lower by lenders such as OCBC amidst weak global risk appetite following North Korea's latest nuclear test.
MSCI's broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan slipped 0.75 percent with South Korea's main index down 1 percent.
North Korea on Sunday conducted its sixth and most powerful nuclear test, which it said was of an advanced hydrogen bomb for a long-range missile, prompting the threat of a "massive" military response from the United States if it or its allies were threatened, Reuters reported.
On Monday, news agency Yonhap reported North Korea was seen to be making preparations for another ballistic missile launch, possibly of ICBM-class.
At 0650 GMT, the Straits Times Index fell 1.2 percent or 38 points to 3,239. It ended 0.0.37 percent higher on Thursday, as financial markets were shut on Friday for a public holiday.
Lenders such as United Overseas Bank declined 1 percent, DBS Group Holdings dropped 0.3 percent and Oversea-Chinese Banking Corp hed 1.5 percent.
Catalist-listed SBI Offshore fell as much as 5 percent afterthe company said Amy Soh Wai Ling has tendered her resignation as the company's chief financial officer.
Singaporean conglomerate Keppel Corp said its property arm Keppel Land's chief executive officer will be leaving the company after more than 26 years of service. The stock was down about 0.3 percent.
Wastewater treatment firm China Everbright Water said its consortium has won the Nanning Shuitang River Integrated Restoration Public-Private Partnership Project in Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region. The stock, however, fell 1 percent.
Manulife U.S. Real Estate Investment Trust said it would undertake a rights issue to raise US$208 million to fund its the proposed acquisition of an office building in New Jersey. Its shares lost 2 percent.
About 1.3 billion shares worth S$721 million changed hands, with losers outnumbering gainers 240 to 131.