Singapore shares rebound on positive trade data

SINGAPORE, March 17 Mon Mar 17, 2014 12:53am EDT

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SINGAPORE, March 17 (Reuters) - Singapore stock market snapped a three-day losing streak on Monday, buoyed by positive trade data, while the broader Asian market remained nervous over rising tensions in Ukraine.

The benchmark Straits Times Index was up 0.21 percent at 3080.25 by 0443 GMT. MSCI's broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan inched 0.04 percent higher.

Singapore's non-oil domestic exports rose 9.1 percent in February, beating expectations, compared with a year earlier, official data showed on Monday.

DBS Group Holdings Ltd edged up 0.32 percent to an intra-day high of S$15.78, after opening at an eight-month low of S$15.70.

Singapore's biggest bank by assets on Monday said it agreed to acquire Societe Generale's Asian private bank for $220 million. The deal with the French bank would help DBS to boost its private banking assets by almost a third to about $60 billion.

Among other stocks, St. James Holdings Ltd outperformed the Singapore market, soaring nearly 30 percent to an intra-day high of S$0.077, the highest in almost nine months.

As of 0343 GMT, 49.8 million shares changed hands, more than 30 percent of the average 30-day daily trading volume.

St. James Holdings said late on Friday it entered into agreements with Perennial Real Estate Holdings Pte Ltd and other vendors to acquire equity interests in certain properties and businesses for S$1.56 billion.

Brokerage CIMB downgraded its rating on Perennial China Retail Trust to "reduce" from "hold" and cut its target price to S$0.50 from S$0.55. The brokerage viewed the deal negatively, advising to "reduce exposure on potential overhang post the announcement".

"Investors will gain access to a portfolio with higher gearing and proportion of assets under development, thus higher risk, in our view," it said in a research note.

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