Jun 09, 2016

    Stocks gain as oil prices soar on stockpile dip

    THE Singapore market extended gains for the fifth straight session yesterday, tracking positive United States leads and higher oil prices.

    The Straits Times Index (STI) climbed 14.29 points, or 0.5 per cent, to 2,862.38.

    Wall Street had inched up 0.1 per cent overnight, helped by rallies in energy and airline stocks, while expectations for a near-term interest rate hike continued to wane.

    Other markets in Asia were a mixed bag: Tokyo rose 0.93 per cent, while Shanghai slid 0.3 per cent as traders stayed on the sidelines ahead of a long weekend, and as monthly data showed China's exports fell more than expected in May. Hong Kong slid 0.14 per cent.

    The China data suggests "things have stabilised, which is better than what it was a few months ago, but stabilisation does not mean a bull market," Khiem Do, the Hong Kong-based head of multi-asset strategy at Baring Asset Management, told Bloomberg.

    "Most people are still a little bit careful and cautious."

    The STI's performance yesterday was helped by the local lenders. DBS Group Holdings grew 14 cents or 0.9 per cent to $15.93, United Overseas Bank advanced 15 cents or 0.8 per cent to $18.98 and OCBC Bank put on two cents or 0.2 per cent to $8.84.

    The bulk of the action was centred on oil and gas-related plays as oil prices hit fresh highs following an industry report that showed a decline in US crude stockpiles.

    Keppel Corporation jumped 27 cents or 4.9 per cent to $5.73. Sembcorp Industries shot up 12 cents or 4.1 per cent to $3.02, while its rig-building arm Sembcorp Marine rose four cents or 2.4 per cent to $1.725.

    The day's biggest laggards included real estate group City Developments, which fell 15 cents or 1.7 per cent to $8.85, and ST Engineering, which shed three cents or 0.9 per cent to $3.20.

    Outside of the STI, commodity trader Noble Group surged 1.5 cents or 6 per cent to 26.5 cents after having seen two days of heavy selling.

    Offshore service provider Ezra Holdings was the top active with a turnover of 374.1 million shares. The counter, which was put on a trading halt at around 430pm pending the release of announcements, rocketed 1.8 cents or 25 per cent to nine cents.

    "Since (Tuesday) there have been rampant speculations that the company has secured the necessary financing for some contracts... and was due to make the official announcements," a trader said in a NetAsia Research report.

    Total trade across the bourse was a healthy 1.74 billion shares worth $1.05 billion.