SINGAPORE May 2 Singapore shares edged down on
Friday on the back of a muted performance on Wall Street and
uninspiring China manufacturing data, while the broader Asian
market fared slightly better.
The benchmark Straits Times Index fell 0.4 percent
to 3,252.05, while MSCI's broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares
outside Japan rose 0.4 percent.
Hongkong Land Holdings Ltd led losses on the
index, plunging 4.1 percent to an intra-day low of $6.71, its
lowest in three weeks.
Record first-quarter earnings on Wednesday from Singapore's
three banks were also cited by analysts as a cue for investors
to book their profits at the end of the week.
"I guess the market is taking some profits off the table,
especially after we've had a pretty good run on Wednesday," said
Carey Wong, an analyst at OCBC Investment Research.
Among other stocks, shares of SMRT Ltd rose as
much as 2.9 percent after the transport operator reported a rise
in its fourth-quarter net profit from a year earlier.
Brokerage UOB said it was reviewing its "sell" rating and
target price of S$1.06 on the stock following the earnings
release, citing possible impending changes to the rail financing
and bus operating model that will address the sustainability of
its fare business.
(Reporting by Andrew Toh; Editing by Gopakumar Warrier)