Singapore shares inch up; Wilmar, Noble Group lead

SINGAPORE (Reuters) - Singapore shares inched up on Monday, snapping three consecutive sessions of losses, led by with Wilmar International and Noble Group.

Shares in commodities firm Wilmar International jumped as much as 2.1 per cent to $3.45, as analysts expect decent fourth-quarter earnings after the company reported a 2.5 per cent rise in its third-quarter net profit on Friday.

"We expect 4Q earnings to be driven by higher contributions from its plantations division. Future growth will be supported by on-going organic expansion in its core businesses and potential M&As," CIMB said in a research note.

CIMB analysts maintained their "outperform" call and pegged a target price of $4.12 on Wilmar.

The benchmark Straits Times Index was up 0.1 per cent at 3,181.98 points by midday, while the MSCI's broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan was nearly flat.

Shares in Noble Group rose 1.9 per cent to $1.065, ahead of the commodity firm's scheduled quarterly results on Tuesday.

Casino operator Genting Singapore, the worst performer on the index, fell for a fourth consecutive session, dropping as much as 1.7 percent to a one-month low of $1.44.