January 17, 2014 / 5:38 AM / 4 years ago

Singapore shares head for weekly decline

Singapore, Jan 17 (Reuters) - Singapore shares struggled on Friday, on track for a weekly decline after downbeat bank earnings in the U.S. caused Wall Street to decline and weighed on Asian shares.

Goldman Sachs Group and Citigroup Inc were among the banks that reported lower-than-expected quarterly profits due to lower bond trading revenue.

The benchmark Straits Times index fell for a second consecutive session, easing 0.1 percent to 3,137.13 by 0523 GMT, while the MSCI’s broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan was 0.2 percent higher.

Real estate firms were among the biggest losers on the index with City Developments Ltd shares slipping as much as 1.9 percent to a one-week low at S$9.41. Shopping mall developer CapitaMalls Asia Ltd fell as much as 2.1 percent, hitting a five-week low at S$1.87.

Shares of transport operator SMRT Corporation Ltd advanced as much as 2.1 percent to a more than one-month high at S$1.19 while Comfortdelgro Corporation Ltd dipped as much as 1.5 percent to S$1.94, its lowest in a month.

Maybank Kim Eng said the Public Transport Council’s announcement on Thursday of a 3.2 percent increase in fares fell short of the brokerage’s expectation of 5 percent.

It maintained its negative view on SMRT, citing persistent cost pressures and the prospect of cannibalisation from the new Downtown Line Stage 2 in 2016. Comfortdelgro offered more insulated exposure and was seen as more favourable, Maybank said.

The brokerage rated SMRT a “sell” with a revised target price of S$0.60, while rating Comfortdelgro a “buy” with a target price of S$2.31.

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