Traders chase deals in hopes of riding oil rise
THE local market stumbled into the red yesterday but there was some buzz outside the blue-chip segment as investors and foreign funds went bargain hunting.
Noble Group stood out with 316.3 million shares traded - far and away yesterday's top active counter - as it added 0.8 cent or 4.71 per cent to 17.8 cents, pushing the monthly gain to around 40 per cent.
"Franklin Templeton has resumed buying into Noble, and several more funds may be eyeing for a speculative buy. These institutional fund flows could be what stirred the sentiment," a trader who requested anonymity told The Straits Times.
CMC Markets senior sales trader Alex Wijaya said: "Noble shares have been severely punished over the past year.
"With oil prices rebounding, it's not surprising that people are bargain hunting on it to seek exposure to the commodity sector."
The same mentality was also evident on the Straits Times Index, which closed down 2.85 points or 0.1 per cent at 2,881.79.
Keppel Corp was the top gainer among the 18 blue chips that rose yesterday.
Keppel put on eight cents or 1.51 per cent to $5.39, shrugging off the market jitters earlier this week around the Petrobras probe.
Sembcorp Industries added three cents or 1.16 per cent to $2.61 while Sembcorp Marine gained two cents or 1.54 per cent to $1.32 outside the STI. Ezra Holdings also rose, up 0.2 cent or 3.45 per cent to six cents.
These were likely market reactions towards the recent rise in oil prices. Crude benchmark Brent futures hit above US$51.50 a barrel yesterday to test the year-to-date high in early June. Oil punters are turning bullish as the Opec meeting to detail production cuts draws near.
Singapore Exchange closed up six cents or 0.81 per cent at $7.48 while Singapore Press Holdings was up two cents or 0.52 per cent to $3.87.
Hongkong Land Holdings led the 10 losers on the STI, dropping 23 US cents or 3.22 per cent to US$6.92.
CapitaLand Mall Trust shed four cents or 1.84 per cent to $2.13.
Thai Beverage dropped one cent or 1.01 per cent to 98.5 cents.