Commodities hog the limelight

FRUIT UNDERFOOT: A worker collects oil palm fruit at a factory in Sepang, outside Kuala Lumpur. Commodity stocks were among the top actives yesterday, as palm oil prices dropped.


    Apr 01, 2014

    Commodities hog the limelight

    SINGAPORE stocks started the week on a cheery note, as investors picked up bargains in the wake of recent market weakness.

    The Straits Times Index rose 16.45 points, or 0.52 per cent, to close at 3,188.62 for its fourth straight session of gains.

    A report from the Singapore Exchange (SGX) yesterday noted that the bourse had risen 2 per cent for last month.

    "Commodities stocks were among the best performing of the index's 30 constituent counters, while two of Singapore's three listed banks were among the least performing," the SGX My Gateway report said.

    Commodity stocks were among the top actives yesterday, as palm oil prices dropped. Palm oil has fallen six times in the past eight sessions amid weak export numbers in Malaysia.

    Golden Agri Resources slipped half a cent to 57.5 cents on turnover of 54.7 million shares, while Noble Group dropped 2.5 cents to $1.185 with 51.6 million shares changing hands.

    Banking counters were mostly positive, with DBS Group Holdings climbing nine cents to $16.17 and United Overseas Bank rising 30 cents to $21.65. OCBC Bank had called for a halt to the trading of its shares on Friday, pending an announcement.

    Property developers also mostly closed higher. CapitaLand advanced seven cents to $2.89, City Developments rose eight cents to $10.10 and Keppel Land inched up a cent to $3.36.

    CapitaLand announced last week that it had acquired a 60 per cent interest in two residential sites in Chengdu, China, for 752 million yuan (S$152 million).

    Malaysian shipbuilder Nam Cheong edged up a cent to 33.5 cents, after DMG & Partners Research reiterated its "buy" call on the stock in a report yesterday.

    Regional bourses mostly ended higher yesterday, with Tokyo up 1 per cent, Hong Kong rising 0.4 per cent and Seoul adding 0.2 per cent.

    Shanghai, however, slipped 0.4 per cent ahead of today's release of the Chinese government's official purchasing managers' index for last month, which punters worry might reflect slower growth in manufacturing activity.