SINGAPORE, Feb 20 (Reuters) - Singapore shares rose on Thursday to their highest in nearly a month after the city-state’s fourth-quarter growth beat forecasts, while the broader Asian market weakened on China’s disappointing flash PMI.
The benchmark Straits Times index was flat at 3,088 as of 0503 GMT after hitting a one-month high of 3,101.58 in early trade. MSCI’s broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan lost nearly 1 percent.
Singapore’s economy grew faster than expected in the fourth quarter of 2013, helped by a surge in manufacturing output, government data showed, with the industrial sector expected to continue to drive growth in 2014.
The preliminary China Purchasing Managers’ Index (PMI) from HSBC/Markit for February fell to a seven-month low of 48.3 from January’s final reading of 49.5.
CapitaLand Ltd shares fell as much as 2.4 percent to S$2.84, their lowest in more than a week after the property developer reported a slump in fourth-quarter profit.
Commodity firms Noble Group Ltd and Olam International Ltd were the top two performers on the index. Noble is expected to report its fourth-quarter and full-year results on Friday.
Shares of Noble Group rose 3.6 percent to a four-week high of S$1.02. Olam gained 3.3 percent to an intra-day high of S$1.72, the highest since July 30, 2013.