Singapore Stocks-Buoyed by positive US data, Noble rises on Glencore listing
* Index up 0.22 percent, seen in 3,150-3,188 band in afternoon
* Noble rises on hopes of Glencore's mega share offering
SINGAPORE, April 18 (Reuters) - Singapore shares rose 0.22 percent in thin volume by the midday on Monday, lifted by encouraging U.S. economic data, but gains were capped as investors remained cautious after China's latest tightening move.
By the midday break, the Straits Times Index (STI) was up 7.04 points at 3,160.34. The total value of shares traded in the morning session was S$543.7 million, down from S$654.7 million on Friday.
"The STI is up today owing to positive economic figures from the U.S. and investors are also taking positions in view of potentially strong first quarter results, especially after Singapore reported an impressive set of Q1 GDP figures," said Ng Kian Teck, an analyst at SIAS Research.
Ng said he expects the STI to trade sideways in 3,150 to 3,188 band in the afternoon, with thin volume and higher volatility to continue in the next few weeks.
"Investors are still cautious about the development in China, Japan and Europe. As such, many would be waiting at the side lines or are ready to take profit off the table anytime," Ng added.
Shares of Singapore-listed commodity trading firm Noble Group rose as much as 2.3 percent, on hopes that its valuations could get a boost from Glencore's planned initial public offering, traders said.
By the lunch break, shares of Noble were 1.4 percent higher at S$2.18 with over 17 million shares changing hands.
Commodity trader Glencore is targeting an offer size of between $9 billion to $11 billion. The London part of the offer should raise up to $8.8 billion, while the Hong Kong leg of the deal could raise up to $2.2 billion. [ID:nL3E7FE03M]
Chinese shipbuilder COSCO Corp (Singapore) rose as much as 2.6 percent to a near three-month high on hopes that its parent may inject some assets into the firm if it does a group listing, traders said.
At the midday, COSCO shares were traded 1.3 percent higher at S$2.36.
China COSCO Group, the country's top shipping conglomerate, is still working on plans for a group listing, the Shanghai Securities News said on Friday, citing a top executive, though no timetable was given. [ID:nL3E7FF00S]
"If there's a restructuring of the whole group and they do an IPO, there's a chance that they could inject some shipyard assets into the Singapore-listed entity and this would benefit COSCO Singapore," said a local trader.
Chinese mobile handset maker Longcheer Holdings fell 12.5 percent after it said it expects to report a loss for its quarterly earnings, traders said. (Reporting by Charmian Kok)
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