METALS-Copper steadies as U.S. dollar slips
SYDNEY, Feb 22 Copper steadied in early trading on Wednesday, after slipping overnight, as a weaker U.S. dollar limited profit taking.
Singapore shares were little changed, but Olam International Ltd outperformed the market as investors took short-seller Muddy Waters' latest salvo against the commodities trader in stride.
The Straits Times Index was flat at 2,958.00 points, while MSCI's broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan slipped 0.2 percent.
Muddy Waters stepped up its battle against Olam with a letter criticising the commodities trader's debt and cash burn, but investors noted the firm had not published the type of long, detailed report that typically launched previous attacks.
Shares of Olam rose as much as 5.6 percent on Wednesday, rebounding from a 7.5 percent fall the previous day. Some 91.6 million shares were traded, 6.3 times the average full-day volume over the past 30 days.
Shares of Yoma Strategic Holdings Ltd extended gains from the previous day after the Myanmar-focused property developer launched a share sale which coincided with U.S. President Barack Obama's historic visit to the country.
Yoma shares surged as much as 11 percent on volume of more than 64 million shares, 2.9 times the average full-day volume over the past 30 days.
Olam and Yoma were the top two traded stocks by value in the Singapore market on Wednesday.
1402 (0602 GMT)
Feb 22 The following are the top stories in the Financial Times. Reuters has not verified these stories and does not vouch for their accuracy.
Feb 22 Gold held firm on Wednesday after falling as much as 1 percent the session before, with investors waiting for minutes from the Federal Reserve's last meeting for clues on the timing of interest rate hikes. FUNDAMENTALS * Spot gold was steady at $1,236 per ounce at 0054 GMT, while U.S. gold futures fell 0.1 percent to $1,237. * Data showed the U.S. Purchasing Managers Index (PMI) was at 53.9 in February, down from 55.6 in January and expe