Mar 27, 2014

    STI leaps again after breather

    IT IS shaping up to be a week to remember for Singapore traders, after shares enjoyed yet another day of bumper increases.

    The benchmark Straits Times Index (STI) powered ahead by 39.15 points or 1.26 per cent to 3,143.32 - the largest rise in a single day since Sept 9.

    Even as a one-off gain, it would have been impressive.

    But it came on the back of Monday's 38.44-point increase, with the STI taking a breather on Tuesday.

    The index is already 69.93 points or 2.3 per cent ahead for the week.

    Investors are worrying less and less that the United States Federal Reserve is on course to end its money-printing programme and then raise its benchmark interest rate.

    The feeling is that economic fundamentals should be able to sustain stock markets which can finally be taken off their life-support systems which, over the past few years, included record-low interest rates and massive money-printing.

    On Tuesday, the US announced better-than-expected indicators for consumer confidence and house prices, bolstering optimism in the recovery of the world's largest economy.

    With that, Wall Street rose on Tuesday with the Dow Jones Industrial Average up 0.6 per cent.

    There were also reduced fears over the situation in Ukraine.

    Commodities companies were among the best performers, with Noble Group charging ahead by 5.5 cents or 5 per cent to $1.155, while Golden Agri-Resources added two cents or 3.5 per cent to 58.5 cents.

    Wilmar International's gains were more muted. The palm-oil firm finished the day two cents or 0.6 per cent ahead at $3.48.

    Bourse newcomer OUE Commercial Real Estate Investment Trust (OUE Commercial Reit) slipped half a cent or 0.6 per cent to 79 cents, despite OCBC Investment Research initiating coverage with a "buy" call and 88-cent fair value.

    "We are positive on the Singapore prime office outlook, which makes up 69 per cent of OUE Commercial Reit's portfolio value, and forecast that limited supply and continued steady absorption will drive Grade A rentals up by 10 per cent to 20 per cent over financial years 2014 to 2015," said OCBC.

    "Contributions from OUE Bayfront, now boosted by income support, will likely be sustained at current levels or higher after the support arrangement ceases after financial year 2017."

    OUE Commercial Reit listed on Jan 27 after pricing its units at 80 cents each for the initial public offering.