Singapore Jan 16 Singapore shares edged down on
Thursday despite robust U.S. data and upbeat earnings from Bank
of America, while stocks of commodities firms fell on concerns
about changing supply and demand dynamics.
With the world's two largest economies in the midst of
change, Maybank predicted that China's rebalancing of its
economic growth model and the U.S. Federal Reserve stimulus
tapering would affect the supply-and-demand dynamics of the
commodity trading industry.
"Against a fluid and changing backdrop, we value earnings
visibility above growth outlook," Maybank said in a research
note. "We prefer companies with clear catalysts and less
likelihood of an earnings miss."
Shares of Wilmar International Ltd fell 0.6
percent to S$3.25, while Noble Group Ltd and Olam
International Ltd were down 0.5 percent to S$1.03 and
0.6 percent to S$1.54 respectively.
Wilmar was Maybank's top sector pick with a "buy" rating and
a target price of S$4.30, while Noble and Olam were both rated
Bank of America Corp, the second-largest U.S. bank,
showed signs of recovery after its quarterly profit surged by
nearly $3 billion as revenue increased and mortgage losses
The benchmark Straits Times Index edged down 0.1
percent to 3,140.42 points by 0545 GMT, while the MSCI's
broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan
gained 0.1 percent.
Singapore telecommunications firm StarHub Ltd was
the worst performer on the index, falling as much as 1.7 percent
to a nearly one-month low at S$4.15, trading at 1.5 times its
average 30-day full-day volume.