ASEAN KEY DESTINATIONS
Mixed Day in ASEAN Markets
ASEAN stocks will be in for a mixed day, bad news from China and a slow night in USA trading will be offset by strong prices in the commdities sector.
Best Buys today are Sarawak Oil Palms, Olam, Noble, PTTEP
Singapore Market Higher on Commodity suppliers: The Thomson Reuters/Jefferies CRB Index, which tracks prices of 19 commodities from copper to corn, gained 0.4 percent in New York on Dec. 23.
Singapore’s Straits Times Index gained 0.5 percent to 3,159.36 as of the close of trading. About nine stocks advanced for each one that fell in the benchmark equity index of 30 companies. Shares on the measure trade at an average 15.4 times estimated earnings, compared with about 17.4 times at the beginning of the year.
The following shares were among the most active in the market. Stock symbols are in parentheses after the company name.
Ebeling Heffernan strong buys Noble Group Ltd., a Hong Kong-based commodities supplier, rose 1 percent to S$2.11. Olam International Ltd., a Singapore-based supplier of agricultural commodities, climbed 1.3 percent to S$3.11.
Palm-oil producers: Crude palm-oil futures for March delivery rose as much as 2.4 percent in Kuala Lumpur today.
First Resources Ltd. (FR SP), an Indonesian palm plantation company, advanced 2 percent to S$1.53. Golden Agri-Resources Ltd. (GGR SP), the world’s second-biggest palm-oil producer, rose 2 percent to 77.5 Singapore cents.
Indofood Agri Resources Ltd. (IFAR SP), the palm-oil unit of Indonesia’s biggest noodle maker, climbed 0.4 percent to S$2.72.
DBS Group Holdings Ltd. (DBS SP), Southeast Asia’s biggest bank by assets, rose 0.1 percent to S$14.34. The lender said it bought 94 million shares of its unit DBS Bank Ltd. for S$1.35 billion ($1.04 billion), and now holds 2.06 billion shares.
Mapletree Logistics Trust Management Ltd. (MLT SP), a Singapore real estate trust, fell 0.5 percent to 94.5 Singapore cents. The company said it bought a warehouse in eastern Singapore for S$13.8 million.
In Jakarta, Ebeling Heffernan Strong Buy Astra Agro Lestari, Indonesia’s largest listed plantation company, gained 2.1 percent to Rp 24,850. March-delivery contracts of palm oil futures on the Malaysia Derivatives Exchange gained as much as 2.2 percent to 3,744 ringgit ($1,209) per metric ton as the market closed in Kuala Lumpur.
The Jakarta Composite Index opened the week by advancing 13.74 points, or 0.4 percent, to close at 3,625.27 on Monday.
Bank Mandiri climbed 2.4 percent to Rp 6,500. Mandiri shares rose after DMG and Partners Securities raised the stock’s rating to “buy” from “neutral” and set a share-price estimate of Rp 7,750.
The rupiah weakened 0.1 percent to trade at 9,035 to the US dollar on Monday, on concern that higher interest rates in China will sap demand for exports.
In Kuala Lumpur the index increased by 0.14 points or 0.93% on Monday. The Finance Index gained 0.06% to 13806.01 points, the Properties Index up 0.90% to 1013.12 points and the Plantation Index rose 0.56% to 7993.01 points. The market traded within a range of 3.59 points between an intra-day high of 1513.23 and a low of 1509.64 during the session.
Actively traded stocks include BJCORP, TEJARI, PANTECH-LA, BJTOTO-CG, BJCORP-CC, ZELAN, SLP, TAKASO, BJTOTO-CF and TECFAST. Trading volume increased to 773.21 mil shares worth RM868.92 mil as compared to Fridayâ€™s 835.24 mil shares worth RM904.82 mil.
Leading Movers were AMMB (+11 sen to RM6.95), KLK (+42 sen to RM22.20), CIMB (+2 sen to RM8.57), AXIATA (+1 sen to RM4.73) and GENM (+2 sen to RM3.33). Lagging Movers were PBBANK (-4 sen to RM12.80), BAT (-94 sen to RM44.86), DIGI (-16 sen to RM24.90), MMCCORP (-6 sen to RM2.83) and MAXIS (-3 sen to RM5.30). Market breadth was negative with 305 gainers as compared to 414 losers.
So far Palm oil has rallied 36 percent this year, headed for its second straight annual advance, on optimism that rising demand in China may strain global supplies curbed by rain and drought in producing nations.
Global demand for eight vegetable oils will exceed output for the first time in eight years in 2010- 2011 and China’s import reliance is at “an alarming level,” Oil World said in a Nov. 19 report.
Heavy rains caused by a La Nina weather event have reduced oil-palm yields in Indonesia and Malaysia, the top producers.
La Nina has also caused drought that curbed South American planting of soybeans, the rival edible oil, threatening global edible oil supplies and driving prices higher.
Malaysia’s production dropped 1 percent to 14.3 million tons in the first 10 months of the year, according to data from the nation’s palm oil board.
February-delivery futures rose as much as 1.3 percent to 3,640 ringgit, a 29-month high, and traded at 3,617 ringgit at 12:13 p.m. on the Malaysia Derivatives Exchange.
China, the biggest user of commodities, has pledged to control prices by cracking down on the use of bank credit to speculate in agricultural markets and by selling soybeans and vegetable oil from state reserves.
The biggest buyer of soybeans is expected to import 57 million tons in the year from Oct. 1, up 13 percent from a year ago, the U.S. Department of Agriculture data show.
Imports may exceed 14.2 million tons from October through December, up 4 million tons from a year earlier, Oil World said this week.
In Bangkok, The Stock Exchange of Thailand (SET) composite index dropped 2.53 points, or 0.25 per cent, to stand at 1,019.46 points as the trading closed on Monday evening. The trade value was 10.56 billion baht.
The SET100 index lost 4.34 points, or 0.28 per cent to 1,549.68 points, with a total turnover of 7.49 billion baht.
The SET50 index closed at 709.82 points, down 1.83 points or 0.26 per cent, with a total trade value of 6.45 billion baht.
The top five most active shares:
TMB stood at 2.30 baht, up 0.04 or 1.77 per cent.
TRUE stood at 6.55 baht, down 0.10 or 1.50 per cent.
PTT remained at 318.00 baht.
ADVANC stood at 83.75 baht, down 2.00 or 2.33 per cent.
PTTEP stood at 166.00 baht, up 1.00 or 0.61 per cent.