Singapore equities reversed early decline on Wednesday as financial stocks such as OCBC Bank and United Overseas Bank staged a turnaround.
Safe haven assets such as the yen and gold strengthened after North Korea's missile launch raised concerns the lone country is planning to build a device capable of hitting the U.S. Asian shares rebound, led by gains in automakers and technology companies. US equity and bond markets are set to reopen after the July 4 holiday.
At 05:38 GMT, the Straits Times Index rose 0.69 percent or 22 points to 3,233. It ended 0.38 percent lower on Tuesday, taking the year-to-date gains to 11.5 percent. Lenders were the top gainers on the SGX, with Oversea-Chinese Banking Corp, DBS Group and United Overseas Bank rising between 1 percent and 1.5 percent.
Shares of Disa, a maker of foundry machinery and filters, jumped 8 percent after Tuesday's 7 percent slump. Among the other gainers, chemical maker Jiutian Chemical surged 25 percent while KrisEnergy gained 5.9 percent.
The laggards included skincare products maker Best World International down 2.9 percent and Haw Par Corp, responsible for Tiger Balm ointment, dropped 1.8 percent. About 1.6 million shares worth S$593 million changed hands, with gainers outnumbering losers 213 to 123.