Singapore index eases ahead of key Fed meeting

SINGAPORE (Reuters) - Singapore shares eased on Monday as cautious investors fretted over the possible tapering of US stimulus ahead of a key Federal Reserve meeting on Tuesday and Wednesday.

The benchmark Straits Times Index was down 0.4 per cent at 3,053.72 by midday, in line with a 0.5 per cent drop in the MSCI's broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan.

Shopping mall developer CapitaMalls Asia and warehouse operator Global Logistic Properties were the worst performers on the index, falling more than 1 per cent.

SIA Engineering Co rose as much as 0.6 per cent to a two-week high of $4.89 after Maybank Kim Eng set a 'buy'rating and target price of $6.34 on the stock.

Maybank maintained its 'overweight' rating on Singapore's aviation services sector, saying the workload volume of domestic aviation companies is expected to grow due to expansion plans for 2014.

"Changi Airport will be embarking on an unprecedented scale of expansion and we expect this to fuel structurally higher demand for aviation services," Maybank wrote in a research note.

Shares of Singapore Airlines rose as much as 0.9 per cent to $10.09 after the airline announced its unit Scoot and Nok Airlines Public Co plan to establish a low-cost carrier based in Bangkok with an initial investment of about $80 million.

Shares of penny stock Asiasons Capital fell 4.9 per cent to $0.14 after the company said in a statement its proposed subscription in September of more than 2 million new ordinary shares had lapsed.