Singapore index rebounds; ThaiBev leads gains
SINGAPORE, March 4 (Reuters) - Singapore shares rose on Tuesday boosted by upbeat manufacturing data for February, led by strong gains in Thai Beverage, while broader Asian shares sagged on continuing tensions in Ukraine.
The benchmark Straits Times Index edged up 0.3 percent to 3,097.78 points as of 0401 GMT, after having fallen to a two-week low in the previous session.
Shares of Thai Beverage PCL soared as much as 5.3 percent to a 7-1/2-month high of S$0.60, in their third straight session of gains. ThaiBev has risen nearly 17 percent since it reported robust quarterly results on Feb. 27.
CIMB analysts added ThaiBev to its top pick list, and have set a target price of S$0.74.
"Thai Beverage re-enters our top pick list after 4Q results show that the existing alcohol cash cow business is a lot more cash generative than perceived, once we back out the earlier quarter's impact of inventory drawdowns," they said in a research note.
"Valuations remain attractive for a portfolio of assets that stand a good chance to be an ASEAN F&B giant."
CIMB, however, cautioned against chasing the stock after the strong gains in recent sessions.
Singapore's manufacturing Purchasing Managers' Index (PMI) rose to 50.9 in February, the highest since October, on an expansion in new orders, production output and inventory.
Broader Asian markets were on the defensive as tensions over Ukraine showed no sign of abating. MSCI's broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan was down 0.1 percent.
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