Singapore shares retreat after four days of gains

SINGAPORE (Reuters) - Singapore shares fell on Monday after a four-day winning streak as the broader Asian market sagged on disappointing Chinese trade data and uncertainty over the crisis in Ukraine.

The benchmark Straits Times Index was down 0.4 per cent at 3,122.7 as of midday. MSCI's broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan lost 1.31 per cent, as China's weak exports in February added fears of a slowdown in the world's second-largest economy.

Shares in palm oil firm Golden Agri-Resources fell from a nearly four-month high of $0.61 hit in the previous session, slumping 2.5 per cent and leading the losses in the Singapore index, just as crude palm oil prices eased from a near 18-month peak.

In other stocks, Frasers Centrepoint inched down 0.3 per cent to $1.59, hovering near last week's peak of $1.615, the highest since Jan 20. The property developer made its debut on the Singapore Exchange on Jan. 14 at $1.61.

Daiwa Capital Markets initiated its coverage of Frasers Centrepoint with a "buy" rating and a target price of $1.840, arguing that the property developer is backed by strong pre-sales of its residential projects and healthy recurring income from its other businesses.

"While we believe the physical residential market looks set for continued softening, we believe shares of property developers have more than discounted the negative risks in the physical market and now offer strong value," Daiwa analysts wrote in a research note.

Possible tie-ups with its top shareholder TCC Group, controlled by Thai billionaire Charoen Sirivadhanabhakdi, would provide the company with future growth momentum, the analysts noted.

Frasers Centrepoint is expected to raise up to $600 million through the listing of a hospitality real estate investment trust in Singapore in the second quarter, sources said.

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