Singapore shares rose slightly, led by commodities firm Noble Group Ltd, but OCBC Investment Research advised investors to watch out for the upcoming corporate results and an expected fall in trading due to Chinese New Year in February.
The Straits Times Index was up 0.1 percent at 3,229.61 points, while MSCI's broadest index of Asia Pacific shares outside Japan slipped 0.1 percent.
The Singapore bourse has gained nearly 2 percent since the start of 2013 partly as "fiscal cliff" was averted in the United States.
"We don't expect the fourth-quarter results to be very strong, they won't really beat street expectations. Purchasing Managers Index numbers have not been very strong, especially in Singapore," said Carey Wong, an analyst at OCBC Investment Research.
OCBC's top picks for 2013 included Biosensors International Group Ltd, City Developments Ltd, CapitaMalls Asia Ltd, CapitaMall Trust, DBS Group Holdings Ltd, United Overseas Bank Ltd , Ezion Holdings Ltd, Keppel Corp Ltd , Sembcorp Marine Ltd, M1 Ltd, Starhill Global REIT and Venture Corp Ltd.
Noble shares rose as much as 3.7 percent to S$1.25, the highest in about two months, and were the top traded stock by value in Singapore on Monday.
DBS Vickers said in a recent report that Noble's earnings are likely to rebound on healthier commodity demand and margin normalisation.
Maybank Kim Eng expects Noble to benefit from an improvement in China's economic activity in 2013. Excluding its oil and gas business, China is Noble's single biggest market, accounting for more than 30 percent of total group tonnage, Maybank estimated.
(Reporting by Eveline Danubrata in Singapore; Editing by G.Ram Mohan; email@example.com)
11:52 STOCKS NEWS SINGAPORE-DBS upgrades CDL Hospitality to 'buy'
DBS Vickers upgraded CDL Hospitality Trusts to 'buy' from 'hold' and raised its target price to S$2.11 from S$2.01, citing benefits from its acquisition of a resort in Maldives.
By 0341 GMT, units of CDL Hospitality Trust were up 1.8 percent at S$1.98. The units have gained 5.3 percent since the start of the year, compared to the FTSE ST Real Estate Industrial Trust's 1 percent gain.
CDL Hospitality said it entered into an agreement with Banyan Tree Holdings Ltd to buy Angsana Velavaru in Maldives, which it will lease back to the operator for 10 years.
DBS said this will give the trust exposure to the robust growth in Maldives' hospitality market, supported by growing popularity among Chinese tourists.
"While this is different from its current portfolio of largely city-hotels, we believe that the merits of this deal overweigh potential risks," said DBS in a note.
The 10-year lease has rental payments pegged to gross operating profits and incentives motivates the operator to achieve the highest possible returns for the property, DBS said.