BULLS AND BEARS

Noble's shares continue to be hotly traded

An employee walks past a sign of Noble Resources, a Noble Group subsidiary, at their premises in Singapore.
An employee walks past a sign of Noble Resources, a Noble Group subsidiary, at their premises in Singapore.PHOTO: REUTERS

Regional markets generally lacklustre, STI finishes up just 0.02% for the week

With nothing much to be excited about, Singapore shares ended lower yesterday, in line with other bourses across the region.

Continued gloom around Brexit, nerves over an unfolding banking crisis in Europe and uncertainty over a United States employment report had investors heading out early for the weekend.

The local Straits Times Index shed 15.13 points, or 0.53 per cent, to 2,847.04. and was just 0.02 per cent higher for the week. Shanghai fell 0.95 per cent, Tokyo dropped 1.1 per cent and Hong Kong slipped 0.7 per cent.

Most market punters were looking ahead to the US report on June non-farm payrolls, which came out early this morning.

The data might provide some clues as to whether the Federal Reserve will raise interest rates sooner than expected, after a shockingly weak job report in May and market volatility in the wake of Britain's vote to leave the European Union.

"While a strong June report is not going to ring alarm bells for an imminent rate hike, a strong print tells the market that when the post-Brexit dust settles, the door will be open for the Fed to resume a path of interest rate normalisation," Mr Stephen Innes, a senior trader at Oanda Asia Pacific, told Agence France-Presse.

At home, Noble's nil-paid rights and its shares continued to be hotly traded yesterday. The shares fell 1.5 cents to 16.9 cents, with 163 million shares changing hands. The rights to subscribe for Noble shares dropped 1.9 cents to 5.5 cents. These rights are options to buy Noble shares in a rights issue, which the commodity giant announced on June 3. Under the US$500 million (S$675 million) one-for-one rights issue, Noble launched new shares at 11 cents apiece. At the time, this was a discount of over 60 per cent to its share price.

SPH Reit gained a cent to 95 cents, after reporting on Thursday that distributable income for the third quarter rose 1.1 per cent over the same period last year to $35 million.

Offshore and marine service provider Triyards Holdings added half a cent to 38 cents. It said before the market opened yesterday morning that third-quarter net profit had fallen 24 per cent from the same period a year ago, to US$4.1 million.

Still, OCBC Investment Research analyst Low Pei Han maintained a "buy" rating on the firm.

"Compared to its peers, Triyards has a more diversified order book in terms of product offerings and clientele base, which is important in today's tough operating environment," she said.

BreadTalk lost two cents to $1.115, but RHB Securities Research reiterated its "buy" call on the stock yesterday.

Analyst Juliana Cai said the firm's plans to open more Din Tai Fung restaurants and focus on making its operations more efficient will help it to boost profits.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on July 09, 2016, with the headline 'Noble's shares continue to be hotly traded'. Print Edition | Subscribe