Singapore stocks edge higher; lenders gain

Singapore stocks edged higher on Monday, led by gains in lenders such as DBS Group Holdings.

Trader works at DBS Group headquarters in Singapore. Reuters

Singapore stocks edged higher on Monday, led by gains in lenders such as DBS Group Holdings, but mood remained somber as investors weighed the damage from Tropical Storm Harvey on U.S. oil refining centers.

Asian stocks fluctuated and U.S. equity futures fell as the most powerful hurricane to hit Texas in more than 50 years, continued to batter the state.

The dollar fell 0.3 percent to 109.15 yen as Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen's remarks disappointed some investors who had hoped for hints on the Fed's plans for interest rates.

On the geopolitical front, North Korea fired three ballistic missiles over the weekend after Kim Jong Un's regime strongly criticized U.S.-South Korea joint military drills.

The Straits Times Index gained 0.25 percent or 8 points to 3,267. It ended 0.38 percent lower on Friday, taking the year-to-date gains to about 13 percent.

Lenders such as DBS Group Holdings advanced 1.1 percent, United Overseas Bank rose 0.5 percent and Oversea-Chinese Banking Corp added 0.6 percent.

Property developer GuocoLand rose 0.9 percent after reporting a six-fold jump in fourth-quarter net profit, driven by higher residential sales and progressive revenue recognition from residential projects in Singapore.

Singapore Technologies Engineering said it acquired selected rig repair assets from World Marine of Mississippi in the United States for about S$34 million. The stock was up 1 percent.

Among the losers, Ocean Sky International declined 6.2 percent while Tiong Seng Holdings was unchanged after unit TSky Development agreed to buy Sloane Court Hotel for S$80.5 million.

About 1.3 billion shares worth S$799 million changed hands, with losers outnumbering gainers 201 to 199.