Singapore shares up for 3rd session on positive trade data, Fed eyed

Singapore shares up for 3rd session on positive trade data, Fed eyed

SINGAPORE - Singapore shares rose for a third consecutive session on Monday to their highest in more than a week, supported by better-than-expected trade data as investors await further hints from the US Federal Reserve on its monetary policy.

The benchmark Straits Times Index was up 0.3 per cent higher at 3,211.69 by 0510 GMT, while the MSCI's broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan was up 0.9 per cent.

Noble Group Ltd led the gains on the index, up as much as 3.4 per cent to a near one-week high of S$1.075, followed by ComfortDelgro Corp Ltd, whose shares rose 1.9 per cent - the biggest daily gain in more than two months.

Earlier in the day, Singapore reported better-than-expected exports for October. Citi analysts expect exports to recover further in 2014 as Europe, the nation's largest trading partner, recovers from recessions.

They noted though exports may have bottomed, the uptick so far has been tepid due to cost and labour woes and caution on restocking inventory to normal levels. "These factors together with the risk of household debt unwinding leads us to prefer stocks exposed to external drivers," they said in a note.

Citi's top picks include Keppel Corp Ltd, Keppel Land Ltd, Wilmar International Ltd, CapitaMalls Asia Ltd and DBS Group Holdings.

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