Singapore shares edge higher on Yellen comments

SINGAPORE (Reuters) - Singapore shares edged cautiously higher on Thursday, rallying from a one-week low hit in the previous day as Asian shares drew a measure of comfort from comments by United States Federal Reserve chief Janet Yellen and easing tensions in the Ukraine conflict.

The benchmark Straits Times Index rose 0.5 per cent to 3,252.37, after hitting its lowest since April 29 on Wednesday. MSCI's broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan was up 0.5 per cent.

Yellen signalled on Wednesday that the U.S. economy was still in need of lots of support given the "considerable slack"in the labour market.

Risk sentiment was also underpinned after Putin called on pro-Moscow separatists in Ukraine to postpone a vote on secession just five days before it was to be held.

Gains on the index were led by ComfortDelgro, which edged up 1.5 per cent, and UOB, which rose 2.2 per cent to a 1-1/2 week high of $22.07.

Among other stocks, shares of Starhub remained flat after the telecommunications company posted an 8 per cent fall in first-quarter net profit from a year earlier.

OCBC maintained its "sell" rating on the stock with a target price of $3.81, citing intense competition in the broadband segment and erosion in Starhub's voice and SMS usage in its main mobile business.

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