Singapore stocks muted; Noble surges 15%

Commodities trader Noble Group jumped after an Arab-linked group bought a substantial stake in the company.

Singapore shares drop
A Singapore Exchange (SGX) sign sits outside its premises at the central business district in Singapore, January 18, 2016 Reuters

Singapore equities are ending the week on a tepid note, tracking lackluster Asian shares while crude crept up from this week's 10-month lows.

The Straits Times Index fell 0.2 per cent or 6.5 points to 3,209. It ended 0.43 per cent higher on Thursday, taking the year-to-date gains to 11.6 per cent.

Among the gainers, commodities trader Noble Group jumped 15.4 per cent after an Arab-linked group bought a substantial stake in the beleaguered firm. Property firms UOL rose 0.8 per cent while UIC fell 0.5 percent after announcing a share swap deal.

The losers included Global Logistic Properties down 5 per cent and hospitality group Genting Singapore declined 1 percent. About 920 million shares worth S$559 million changed hands, with losers outnumbering gainers 189 to 119.

Asian shares were mixed while safe haven gold rose for a third day, with oil remaining below $43 a barrel.

Investors' focus will now shift to Brexit negotiations with U.K. Prime Minister Theresa May set make a statement to the British parliament on Monday, divulging details of her proposal to safeguard the residency rights of European citizen who currently live in the U.K.