Commodity firms outperform sluggish Singapore market

SINGAPORE (Reuters) - Commodity firms outperformed the Singapore market as the index edged down ahead of the outcome of the United States Federal Reserve's two-day policy meeting through Wednesday.

Top performers on the index included Wilmar International and Golden Agri-Resources. Wilmar rebounded from a one-week decline, climbing as much as 1.6 per cent to $3.16, its biggest daily gain in nearly 10 weeks, while Golden Agri gained 2 per cent to an intra-day high at $0.52.

Better margins for overseas buyers and refiners from a weaker ringgit helped lift demand for palm oil even as fragile emerging markets and declining vegetable oil prices weighed on the palm market.

The benchmark Straits Times Index had slipped 0.7 per cent to 3,040.2 as of midday, while the MSCI's broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan gained 1.3 per cent.

Among other stocks, shares of CDL Hospitality Trusts rose 1.3 per cent to $1.61, their biggest daily gain in almost three weeks. The subsidiary of City Development on Tuesday said its 2013 fourth-quarter revenue and distribution per unit rose 2.8 and 0.7 per cent year-on-year respectively.

CIMB upgraded the stock to "add" from "hold", with a target price of $1.79. CIMB said it expects CDL Hospitality's earnings to increase in financial year 2014, citing continued global recovery and trade exhibitions coming up in Singapore this year such as the airshow and Food & Hotel Asia.

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