* Index down 0.1 percent at 0500 GMT
* Oceanus plunges after Q4 loss widens
By Eveline Danubrata
SINGAPORE, March 1 (Reuters) - Singapore shares fell slightly on Thursday, weighed down by Southeast Asia’s largest telecoms firm Singapore Telecommunications Ltd and Wilmar International Ltd, the world’s largest listed palm oil firm.
By 0500 GMT the Straits Times Index (STI) was down 0.1 percent or 3.05 points at 2,991.01. Some 776.8 million shares worth S$654.4 million were traded, compared with around 1 billion shares worth S$1 billion by the same time on Wednesday.
The MSCI Asia Pacific ex-Japan fell 0.7 percent.
Shares of SingTel lost 1.3 percent and Wilmar slipped 1 percent. SingTel shares rose 1.3 percent on Wednesday, and one trader attributed their fall to profit-taking. Wilmar has been hit by concerns about declining margins following its fourth-quarter results.
A stand-out stock on Thursday was Singapore container shipping firm Neptune Orient Lines Ltd (NOL), whose shares rose as much as 3.7 percent. By 0500 GMT it was 2.6 percent higher at S$1.375.
“Their share price was hit because of their losses a while back, so maybe some people think it’s a little overdone. Some may also think global economic prospects look a bit better,” said Jason Hughes, head of premium client management at IG Markets Singapore.
Last week, NOL shares fell as much as 11 percent after the firm posted a fourth-quarter net loss of $320 million due to high fuel costs and lower freight rates. But NOL said recent freight rates had shown signs of improvement.
Shares of Singapore-listed Oceanus Group Ltd fell as much as 11.5 percent after the abalone breeder’s fourth-quarter net loss widened on a fair value loss of 371.2 million yuan ($59 million) in biological assets. ($1 = 1.2470 Singapore dollars; $1 = 6.2936 Chinese yuan) (Editing by Michael Watson)