Singapore stocks gain; Noble tumbles on Fitch downgrade

Global stocks eased ahead of an address by Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen.

A logo of the Singapore Stock Exchange (SGX) is pictured outside its premises in the financial district of Singapore. REUTERS

Singapore equities advanced on Tuesday after a long weekend but gains were tempered by a slump in commodity trader Noble Group following Fitch Ratings downgrade.

The Straits Times Index rose to 0.26 percent or 8 points to end at 3,217. It ended 0.2 percent lower on Friday with markets shut on Monday for a public holiday.

Among the gainers, Keppel Corp rose 0.6 percent after its units tied up with a co-investor to acquire an office and retail mixed-used development in China for nearly $525 million.

Leisure and hospitality services firm Genting Singapore advanced 1.4 percent.

However, Noble Group slumped 3.8 percent after Fitch Ratings cut commodities trader's credit rating further into junk territory. About 1.5 billion shares worth S$822 million changed hands, with losers outnumbering gainers 240 to 197.

Global stocks eased ahead of an address by Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen, which will provide clues on the outlook for interest rates and American economy. Yellen is scheduled to take part in a discussion in London later on Tuesday.

Some investors worry the Fed is taking too rosy a view of the economy as it sets the path for further interest-rate increases.

West Texas Intermediate crude rallied for a fourth day following oil's drop into a bear market last week. It rose 0.6 percent to $43.61 per barrel.