Singapore stocks advance; Japan shares at two-decade high

Singapore stocks gained on Monday, led by lenders such as DBS Group and OCBC Bank.

Singapore stock exchange
An SGX sign is pictured at Singapore Stock Exchange Reuters

Singapore stocks gained on Monday, led by lenders such as DBS Group and OCBC Bank, with Japanese advancing to two-decade high as an election win for Shinzo Abe's ruling bloc paved way for a continuation of loose monetary policy.

Japan's Nikkei raced up 1 percent to its highest since 1996 after Prime Minister Abe looked to have easily won in national elections over the weekend.

Investors assumed the victory would allow the Bank of Japan to continue with massive monetary easing that depresses bond yields and the yen, even as the U.S. Federal Reserve seems determined to hike rates again in December, Reuters reported.

At 0530 GMT, the Straits Times Index rose 0.21 percent or 7 points to 3,347. It ended 0.17 percent higher on Friday, taking the year-to-date performance to about 16 percent.

Overseas-Chinese Banking Corp and DBS Group Holdings gained 0.3 percent each.

TEE International, which provides mechanical and electrical engineering services, jumped 7 percent after its unit received S$56.5 million worth of contracts from Land Transport Authority.

Embattled Noble Group plunged 8 percent after saying it would sell its U.S. oil-liquids business to Vitol Group for about $580 million, as commodity trader tries to reduce debt.

Darco Water Technologies surged 17 percent after its strategic investor Robert Wang Zhi will purchase 29.5 percent stake in water treatment specialist for up to S$19.7 million

About 1.2 billion shares worth S$546 million changed hands, with gainers outnumbering losers 198 to 160.