Singapore index inches down; CapitaLand slips on weak profit

SINGAPORE (Reuters) - Singapore shares started the week on a low note on Monday, weighed down by increasing tensions in Ukraine and after a dismal week in Wall Street, while shares of Capitaland slipped after the company's weak earnings.

The benchmark Straits Times Index eased 0.2 per cent to 3,260.38, while MSCI's broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan was flat.

Shares of CapitaLand, Southeast Asia's largest property developer, slipped 0.6 per cent after its first-quarter profit dropped 1.7 per cent due mainly to lacklustre sales from its Singapore unit, the company said on Friday.

Brokerage OCBC kept its "buy" rating on CapitaLand's stock despite the weaker earnings, saying it expected the run-rate to pick up as the group pushes to sell its remaining inventory by adjusting prices at slower projects. The brokerage left the target price unchanged at $3.79.

Among other stocks, Wilmar International edged down slightly after the company made a takeover bid for food firm Goodman Fielder, which the Australian company rejected as undervalued.

Wilmar shares dropped 0.3 per cent to $3.50, while Goodman Fielder jumped 18 per cent to match the offer price of A$0.65 per share, a 2-1/2 month high.

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