Singapore shares inched higher by midday, extending gains for the fifth session, on hopes of progress in talks to resolve a "fiscal cliff" in the United States, but gains are likely to be capped by a U.S. Federal Reserve policy decision due later this week.
By 0531 GMT, the benchmark Straits Times Index rose 0.5 percent to 3,129.45, while the MSCI's broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan edged up 0.3 percent.
Goldman Sachs expects oil prices to fall in the coming years due to new supply from shale sands, helping to boost corporate profits which will support stock prices in Asia. Asian stocks have gained 3.9 percent since the start of November.
"Something that has been a headwind for global growth has become a tail wind," said Andrew Tilton, Goldman's chief economist for the Asia-Pacific.
Goldman upgraded Singapore to 'overweight' and has a 12-month target of 3,500 points for the STI, citing its attractive valuations and as it favours cyclicals compared to defensive stocks going into 2013.
By midday, stocks sensitive to economic cycles such as palm oil firm Golden Agri-Resources Ltd rose 2.3 percent to S$0.66 while casino operator Genting Singapore Plc gained 2 percent to S$1.295.
"We see (Singapore) as an attractive way to trade the ASEAN growth story given its linkages with the fast growing ASEAN emerging economies," said Goldman in a report, forecasting earnings per share growth of 7 and 14 percent for 2013 and 2014, respectively, in the country.
1335 (0535 GMT) (Reporting by Charmian Kok in Singapore; Editing by Anand Basu; email@example.com)
STOCKS NEWS SINGAPORE-DBS acquisition may limit Suntec REIT pipeline- Credit Suisse
Lender DBS Group Holdings' Ltd acquisition of a 30 percent stake in a Singapore office tower for S$1 billion shows that capital values and fundamentals of prime grade A office space will continue to hold up, said Credit Suisse.
However, the acquisition also means that Suntec Real Estate Investment Trust is unlikely to acquire a stake in the office tower, Marina Bay Financial Centre Tower 3, which was initially expected by the market. This means a limited acquisition pipeline for Suntec REIT.
The commercial REIT, which is managed by ARA Asset Management Ltd, an affiliate of Cheung Kong (Holdings) Ltd, previously acquired stakes in other offices, One Raffles Quay, from the Hong Kong-listed property developer.
"This means that Suntec's future injection pipeline may be limited as Cheung Kong has no further assets in Singapore," Credit Suisse said.
It maintains its 'underperform' rating and target price of S$1.37, highlighting potential downside risk in net property income due to disruption from upgrading works at its assets.
By 0254 GMT, Suntec REIT units were up 1.3 percent at S$1.605, and have surged 49 percent since the start of the year, outperforming the FTSE ST Real Estate Investment Trust's 33.8 percent rise.
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