Singapore shares fall, snapping 4 days of gains

PHOTO: Singapore shares fall, snapping 4 days of gains

Singapore shares fell on Monday, snapping four consecutive sessions of gain, as a possible US default loomed closer and Chinese data showed export growth fizzled in September to post a surprise fall.

The benchmark Straits Times Index dropped 0.7 per cent to 3,158.15 points, the biggest decline in almost two weeks. MSCI's broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan was 0.2 per cent lower.

Some of the biggest decliners on the Singapore index include casino operator Genting Singapore Plc and commodities trader Noble Group Ltd, which fell more than 2 per cent each.

Shares of Singapore Press Holdings (SPH) outperformed the market, rising 0.5 per cent.

UOB Kay Hian raised its target price on SPH to S$4.22 from S$4.07 and maintained its "hold" rating on the stock to take into account the media and property company's final dividend of 15 Singapore cents per share for 2013 fiscal year.

SPH reported after market hours on Friday a 25 per cent fall in full-year net profit to S$431 million ($345.6 million), hit by lower fair-value gains from investment properties and a smaller contribution from its newspaper and magazine business.

Shares of Del Monte Pacific Ltd extended their gains, rising as much as 2.8 per cent to S$0.93, the highest since late July. About 1.8 million shares were traded, 4.4 times the average full-day volume over the past 30 days.

The food and beverage company said on Friday it will buy the canned food business of private equity-backed Del Monte Foods Consumer Products Inc for $1.7 billion.

Maybank Kim Eng said it sees a good fit between the two entities as they operate in different geographies. "Synergies would likely come in the form of brand ownership and cost savings in certain productions."

The broker raised its target price on Del Monte to S$1.30 from S$1.05 and kept its "buy" rating.