Singapore stocks edged higher on Tuesday after data showed factory activity in August rose at the fastest pace in nearly three years, but the escalating geopolitical tensions kept many investors on edge.
MSCI's dollar-denominated index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan was up 0.1 percent thanks to gains in Chinese shares, though many markets were in the red.
The White House declared on Monday that "all options to address the North Korean threat are on the table", Reuters reported.
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.
News agency Yonhap reported North Korea was seen to be making preparations for another ballistic missile launch, possibly of ICBM-class.
At 0600 GMT, the Straits Times Index gained 0.37 percent or 12 points to 3,242. It ended 1.41 percent lower on Monday, taking the year-to-date performance to about 12 percent.
Data released on Monday evening showed Singapore manufacturing PMI in August rose to 51.8 from 51.0 in July, boosted by a rise in new orders, new exports and factory output.
Lenders such as United Overseas Bank edged up 0.2 percent, DBS Group Holdings added 0.1 percent and Oversea-Chinese Banking Corp rose 0.6 percent.
Among the laggards, shares in Singapore's largest taxi company, ComfortDelGro fell 2 percent after rival Grab launched what it calls "huge rental discounts" to woo its customers.
Property developer Fragrance Group said it has acquired the 300-year hold Crown Hotel in United Kingdom for 7.2 million sterling. Its shares fell 1.9 percent.
Mushroom production company Yamada Green Resources said it has applied for an extension of time to release fiscal results and to hold its annual genenal meeting following a fire accident. The stock was unchanged.
About 998 million shares worth S$395 million changed hands, with gainers outnumbering losers 193 to 149.