Noble Group shares fall 10 pct to 7-yr lows after S&P downgrade

SINGAPORE, Jan 8 (Reuters) - Shares in Noble Group Ltd fell as much as 10 percent on Friday to their lowest levels since late 2008 after Standard & Poor’s downgraded the credit rating of Asia’s biggest commodity trader to junk, intensifying worries about the company’s funding plans.

S&P’s downgrade came a week after a similar cut by Moody’s Investors Service. Analysts expect more pressure on Singapore-listed Noble, which has a total of $2.5 billion worth of loans due in 2016, according to data from Thomson Reuters LPC.

On Thursday, Noble’s shares fell as much as 11.8 percent in a weak day for Asian markets. The year-long rout in commodity markets has punished prices of raw materials that Noble handles from oil to copper. (Reporting by Anshuman Daga; Editing by Edwina Gibbs)