Singapore shares extended their losses for the third straight session at midday, hurt by weak China trade data and as container shipping firm Neptune Orient Lines (NOL) reported poor earnings.
By 0451 GMT, the benchmark Straits Times Index was down 0.2 percent at 3,045.57 points. MSCI's broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan fell 0.7 percent.
NOL was the biggest loser on Singapore's main index, dropping 4.5 percent to S$1.16 after it reported its sixth consecutive quarterly net loss mainly due to one-time charges for restructuring and vessels held for sale.
Phillip Securities Research cut its target price for NOL to S$1.14 from S$1.19 while maintaining its 'neutral' rating, citing larger-than-expected losses due to on-off charges.
However, it expects the container shipper to return to profitability in the second half of the year, helped by a recovery in freight rates and a reduction in bunker prices.
Shares of Fraser and Neave Ltd jumped as much as 2 percent after a block trade stoked speculation of a takeover battle.
Traders said a block of 18.8 million F&N shares, or about 1.3 percent of the firm's issued shares, changed hands at S$8.60 apiece early in the session, making F&N the most actively traded stock by value on Friday.
1300 (0500 GMT)
(Reporting by Charmian Kok in Singapore; firstname.lastname@example.org)