Singapore shares inch up on mixed corporate earnings
SINGAPORE May 15 (Reuters) - Singapore shares saw weak gains on Thursday, as a string of mixed corporate earnings checked risk appetite and gave investors little direction.
The benchmark Straits Time Index ticked up 0.2 percent, while MSCI's broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan added 0.1 percent.
Thai Beverage Pcl led the gains on the index, rising 3.4 percent to a three-week high of S$0.615, after the beverage distributor's first-quarter earnings rose 5 percent from a year earlier.
Brokerage CIMB signalled its confidence in the stock, maintaining an "add" rating with a target price of S$0.74. ThaiBev's earnings had exceeded expectations, CIMB said in a research note, adding that the stock could be catalysed by sustained earnings delivery from the alcohol division.
Hutchison Port Holdings Trust, which manages container ports, was also among the outperformers. Shares of the company stretched gains for a third straight session, rising 2.2 percent to a five-month high of $0.71.
Among other stocks, Golden Agri-Resources Ltd slumped 3.3 percent to an intra-day low of S$0.59, led lower by disappointing quarterly results.
The company's first-quarter net profit dropped 8 percent from a year earlier, as lower contributions from downstream businesses more than offset the boost from higher palm oil prices.
OCBC downgraded its rating on the stock to "sell", saying the company could continue to face headwinds through negative crush margins in China and pressure on refining margins in Indonesia. (Reporting by Andrew Toh; Editing by Prateek Chatterjee)
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