Singapore's Wilmar hits 9-month high; STI snaps 3-day rise

SINGAPORE (Reuters) - Wilmar International jumped over 3 per cent to a nine-month high after Bank of America Merrill Lynch upgraded its recommendation on the stock, while Singapore's benchmark index snapped a three-day winning streak.

BofA Merrill Lynch said a recent call for tender by Indonesia's state oil company Pertamina to buy three million tonnes of biodiesel in 2014 triggered the upgrade to a"buy" rating and a lift in target price to $5.00 from $3.90.

"The latest biodiesel policy in Indonesia will benefit it greatly," BofA Merrill Lynch said in a note, but cautioned that quicker-than-expected rise in palm oil prices or a sharp decline in diesel price would pose risks.

Wilmar shares jumped as much as 3.4 per cent to a nine-month high of $3.65, headed for their biggest daily gain in three months. Wilmar was the best performer on the index.

The benchmark Straits Times Index eased 0.3 per cent to 3,195 points by midday, snapping three straight days of gains, while the MSCI's broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan was 0.2 per cent higher.

Palm oil company Golden Agri-Resources and warehouse operator Global Logistic Properties were the worst performers on the index, falling more than 2 per cent each.