Singapore stocks were little changed on Thursday, led by gains in financials such as OCBC, but geopolitical tensions over North Korea's nuclear and missile programme continued to cast a shadow.
Asian stock markets rose, tracking a recovery in global equities as Wall Street gained overnight after U.S. lawmakers unexpectedly agreed to raise the government debt limit.
U.S. President Donald Trump forged a surprising deal with Democrats in Congress on Wednesday to extend the U.S. debt limit and provide government funding until Dec. 15, in a rare bipartisan accord, Reuters reported.
An index of stocks across Asia, excluding Japan, gained 0.5 percent.
At 0620 GMT, the Straits Times Index lost 0.04 percent or 1 point to 3,231. It ended 0.58 percent lower on Wednesday, taking the year-to-date performance to about 12 percent.
Among the lenders, Oversea-Chinese Banking Corp climbed 0.7 percent while DBS Group Holdings gained 0.3 percent.
Shares in mm2 Asia gained 1 percent after its unit along with New Culture Media Hong Kong and 9i Film & Television Media agreed to co-invest US$25 million to co-produce five films.
Shares in Singapore's largest taxi company, ComfortDelGro rose 0.4 percernt after two sessions of decline. The stock cae under pressure after rival Grab launched what it calls "huge rental discounts" to woo its customers.
Among the laggards, Keppel Offshore & Marine said it has entered into a deal with Pavilion Energy and Indonesia's state-owned electricity provider PT Perusahaan Listrik Negara to distribute liquefied natural gas to remote areas in west Indonesia. Its shares fell 0.3 percent.
Investment holding company CITIC Envirotech said it will acquire 60 percent stake in environmental and utility firm CITIC Qingyuan for 378 million yuan (S$78.3 million). The stock was unchanged.
About 1.3 billion shares worth S$643 million changed hands, with gainers outnumbering losers 163 to 154.