Oct 19, 2016

    Regional stocks up as crude oil price stabilises

    A REGION-WIDE rally gave local shares a leg up yesterday, when stability in the oil price helped calm the jittery sentiment.

    The Straits Times Index closed up 13.56 points or 0.48 per cent at 2,830.63.

    The overall market saw 1.55 billion shares - worth $799.5 million - change hands.

    All key markets across Asia rose, with Shanghai up 1.4 per cent and Hong Kong adding 1.55 per cent. Tokyo rose 0.38 per cent and Kuala Lumpur put on 0.84 per cent.

    The regional markets managed to defy the 0.29 per cent drop overnight on Wall Street, and one of the reasons to cheer for was the relative stability of oil prices, as crude oil futures Brent continued to stay close to US$52 a barrel after the recent build-up.

    This came as the US dollar - which has a reverse correlation with commodity prices - weakened slightly, to around 1.386 against the Singapore dollar by 8pm yesterday. But the supply fundamentals will remain a decisive factor.

    "Oil prices started the week strong on comments by Russia's President Vladimir Putin that the country was prepared to join Opec in output cuts… The next potential upside catalyst for oil prices is likely the Opec meeting on Nov 29," DBS analysts said in a note on Monday.

    In the local benchmark segment, 19 of the 30 STI constituents ended in the black. Hongkong Land Holdings led the gainers, adding 22 US cents or 3.29 per cent to US$6.19.

    Golden Agri-Resources put on one cent or 2.74 per cent to 37.5 cents on 55.1 million traded shares.

    Singapore Exchange, which will announce its results today, closed up two cents or 0.28 per cent at $7.23.

    In the July to September quarter, the bourse's total market turnover was 100.49 billion shares, up from 98.61 billion shares from a quarter ago.

    But in value terms, turnover was down from $65.14 billion to $62.25 billion.

    CapitaLand Commercial Trust, also due to announce its results today, ended flat at $1.555. Ascendas Real Estate Investment Trust rose two cents or 0.83 per cent to $2.44, before its results announcement tomorrow.

    On the other end, City Developments was among the six blue chip losers yesterday, closing down one cent or 0.11 per cent at $8.77.