Singapore index falls tracking regional weakness; CapitaLand hits 21-mth low

Last Updated: Wed, Mar 19, 2014 06:24 hrs

Singapore shares eased on Wednesday, weighed down by poor performance of property stocks and tracking weakness in stock markets around the region before an all-important policy statement from the U.S. Federal Reserve.

The benchmark Straits Times index was down 0.6 percent at 3,075.246 as of 0525 GMT, while MSCI's broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan inched down 0.2 percent.

Shares of CapitaLand Ltd dropped as much as 1.5 percent to S$2.7, their lowest in nearly 21 months, after the company said it had sold its remaining stake in Australia's Australand Property Group.

Hongkong Land Holdings Ltd led the loss with a 2.2 percent fall, its sharpest daily loss in more than six weeks.

Global Logistic Properties Ltd dropped nearly 1.9 percent to an intra-day low of S$2.62 in its third straight session of falls, its lowest in more than six months, on concerns about potential negative earnings impact from the weaker Chinese Yuan.

"Coupled with the potential earnings dilution from the proposed China deal, we believe this [weaker yuan] has contributed to the stock's underperformance since mid-February," Nomura said in a research note.

Nomura maintained its "neutral" rating and target price of S$2.84 on Global Logistic, but said the cautious consensus outlook for the yuan could trim GLP's earnings forecast.

Among small caps, shares of Albedo Ltd fell as much as 53.8 percent to their seven-month low of S$0.024 in heavy trading, after a Malaysian daily reported that talks between Albedo and Malaysian businessman Danny Tan, who had planned to take over the company for S$774 million, broke down.

Albedo requested a halt on trading of its shares earlier in the day.

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