SINGAPORE May 30 Singapore stocks edged down on
Friday as investors booked profits ahead of the weekend, with
declines spread across the board, while Asian shares flat-lined
despite another record closing high in U.S. markets.
The benchmark Straits Times Index fell 0.3 percent
to 3291.82, after a strong comeback the previous day, though it
gained 0.4 percent on the week.
MSCI's broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan
was flat, deflecting optimism in U.S. markets as
the S&P 500 index posted its third record closing high in
Trading among banks dominated the Singapore index, with all
three banks among the top traded stock on the bourse by value.
OCBC Ltd shares were up 0.2 percent, UOB Ltd
shares rose 0.04 percent and DBS Ltd fell 0.4 percent.
Singapore Telecommunications Ltd retreated from
9-month highs, falling as much as 0.8 percent to S$3.86. Shares
of the telecommunication firm had gained as much as 1.6 percent
on Thursday after Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba Group
Holdings Ltd IPO-ALIB.N said it was buying a minority stake in
Singapore Post Ltd, in which SingTel is the largest
Olam International Ltd bucked the trend, surging
as much as 4.1 percent to S$2.29 in early trading, before
falling back down to S$2.23. Olam shares had shot up 11.8
percent in March to hover at S$2.23, after state investor
Temasek Holdings made an offer to buy out Olam, before plunging
4.5 percent after the offer expired on Monday.
Among small-caps, shares of Tat Hong Holdings Ltd
plunged 5.3 percent to an intra-day low of S$0.81, after the
crane rental company reported quarterly earnings that came in
worse than expected.
CIMB downgraded its rating on the stock to "reduce" from
"hold", with a target price of S$0.72. "While there might be
cautious optimism over projects deployment going into FY15, we
think that margins from intense competition may cap overall
performance," the brokerage said.
(Reporting by Andrew Toh; Editing by Sunil Nair)