* Index up 1.2 percent
* UBS raises end-2012 STI target to 3,350 pts from 3,200
* UOB up 2.5 pct; CIMB upgrades stock to outperform
By Eveline Danubrata
SINGAPORE, March 14 (Reuters) - Singapore shares rose to a three-week high as upbeat U.S. economic data pushed up Asian markets, while United Overseas Bank Ltd gained on a broker upgrade.
By 1345 local time (0545 GMT), the Straits Times Index (STI) was up 1.2 percent, or 34.61 points, at 3,023.68. The index earlier rose to 3,027.61, the highest level since Feb. 21.
The MSCI Asia Pacific ex-Japan index gained 0.8 percent.
UBS Investment Research raised its year-end target for the STI to 3,350 points from 3,200. It forecast year-on-year earnings per share growth of 8.7 percent for 2012 and 11.3 percent for 2013, versus a decline of 3.9 percent in 2011.
“We think the latest reporting season confirms our view that the worst of market earnings per share downgrades is behind us,” UBS said in a note.
UOB shares gained as much as 2.6 percent to the highest since September. CIMB Research upgraded the stock to outperform from neutral, citing a minor underperformance after fourth-quarter results.
Shares of Singapore Exchange Ltd gained as much as 3.2 percent after the bourse operator outlined moves to open trading hubs in Chicago and London.
SGX and Eurex are also teaming up to link certain facilities or data centres to provide participants connectivity to each other’s markets in Singapore and Frankfurt/Main. (Editing by Anshuman Daga)