Singapore shares little changed at midday

Singapore shares were little changed at midday on Thursday, even after a strong lead by Wall Street, where the S&P 500 index closed at a record high overnight.

The benchmark Straits Times Index was down 0.98 points, or 0.03 per cent, at 3,142.27 at noon.

Meanwhile, Asian stocks rose on the whole. The MSCI Asia Pacific Index climbed 0.2 per cent to 139.67 on Thursday morning,

"For the time being, I think the fundamental story is real and strong enough to keep the market going," Mr said Mikio Kumada, a Hong Kong-based global strategist for LGT Capital Partners.

"We just bought more into developed equity markets a few days ago."

Japan's Topix index rose 0.8 per cent as a report showed machinery orders for November beat estimates. South Korea's Kospi index advanced 0.3 per cent. Australia's S&P/ASX 200 Index added 0.9 per cent while data showed employers unexpectedly cut payrolls in December. New Zealand's NZX 50 Index was little changed.

Hong Kong's Hang Seng Index gained 0.4 per cent and the Hang Seng China Enterprises Index of mainland shares traded in the city rose 0.1 per cent. China's Shanghai Composite Index gained 0.1 per cent and Taiwan's Taiex index rose 0.5 per cent.