Singapore Press Holdings outperforms muted Singapore index

SINGAPORE (Reuters) - Singapore shares inched up on Monday, led by gains in media conglomerate Singapore Press Holdings, as Wall Street posted another record close and data showed China's factory activity expanding at the fastest pace in five months.

China's official Purchasing Managers' Index rose to 50.8 in May from April's 50.4, the National Bureau of Statistics said on Sunday, reinforcing views that the world's second-largest economy is regaining momentum.

The benchmark Straits Times Index was up 0.1 per cent at 3,299.20, while MSCI's broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan was flat.

Singapore Press Holdings was the best performer on the index, edging up 1.7 per cent at $4.17, on bargain-hunting after falling as much as 3.5 per cent on Friday.

Oil companies also posted fairly decent gains, with Keppel Corp leading with a 0.9 per cent rise. Sembcorp Industries ticked up 0.2 per cent while Sembcorp Marine was down 0.2 per cent.

Bucking the trend, shares in Tiger Airways fell 8.5 per cent after the loss-making carrier said it was looking at various fund raising options. The stock had jumped as much as 21.1 per cent on Friday, its highest in nearly seven months, on what traders said was speculation that Tiger's largest shareholder, Singapore Airlines, was planning to increase its stake in the company.

Among other stocks, shares of Chinese shipbuilder Yangzijiang Shipbuilding (Holdings) recovered from near eight-month lows hit on Friday after reports that its chief executive has been accused of wrongdoing by a Shenzhen-listed company that he has invested in.

The stock was up 5 per cent, after plunging as much as 11.9 per cent on Friday to an intraday low of $0.995. Yangzijiang also topped the most traded stock on the bourse by value, with the number of shares changing hands more than three times its 30 day trading average.

Yangzijian said in a statement that its chief executive denied any wrongdoing and that no allegations have been made against the company itself.