Singapore shares edge down; CityDev hits 3-1/2 week low

SINGAPORE (Reuters) - Singapore shares edged down on Friday, though the index was slightly higher on the week, as investors took profits and refrained from taking further positions ahead of the weekend.

The benchmark Straits Times Index was down 0.3 per cent at 3,258.12, though it was still 0.3 per cent higher on the week. MSCI's broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan eased 0.04 per cent.

The Singapore index was weighed down by heavy losses in shares of real estate developer City Developments, which stretched declines into a second day to hit a 3-1/2 week low after posting a 13 per cent fall in quarterly profit on Wednesday.

CityDev shares were down 3 per cent, on course for their biggest daily loss in almost a year.

Bucking the trend, commodities trader Noble Group surged as much as 4.5 per cent to an intra-day high of $1.28.

The company said on Thursday quarterly net profit had more than tripled, with a strong performance in the metals and energy segments more than offsetting the loss in its agriculture business.

Brokerage OCBC maintained its "hold" rating on the stock, though it upgraded the target price to $1.31 from $1.26.

Stats Chippac Ltd, which packages semiconductors, saw its shares leap 18 per cent to $0.46, after a 15 per cent jump on Thursday.

The company received a takeover bid from a third party, Stats Chippac said on Friday in response to queries from the Singapore exchange, though it added that there was no assurance it would result in any definitive agreement or a transaction.

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