Straits Times Index ends higher on Thursday

SINGAPORE - The local market finally snapped out of its multi-day skid, after the Federal Reserve said a rate hike in June now seems unlikely as uncertainties persist over the United States' recovery.

Wall Street had an intra-day rally following the news, but the gains were wiped off at close as Dow Jones Industrial Index ended 0.15 per cent lower. Investors ware still cautious as a rate hike in the third quarter remains on the cards.

Still, the benchmark Straits Times Index was given enough lift to close 0.18 point of 0.01 per cent up at 3,439.86, ending its drop since last Friday.

Palm oil plays Wilmar International and Golden Agri-Resources were among the top performing blue chips, as investors continued to bet on palm oil futures' rebound. Wilmar closed 11 cents or 3.36 per cent up at s$3.38, while Golden Agri gained 0.5 cent or 1.19 per cent to end at 42.5 cents.

But the highlight of the day was Global Logistic Properties (GLP), which was the most active counter on Singapore Exchange with some 388.62 million shares changing hands while closing eight cents or 2.92 per cent up at $2.82.

Market watchers told the Straits Times that GLP's trading volume was likely buoyed by a married deal during the day. A married deal is an off-the-market transaction where a shareholder offloads its shares to a counterparty on an agreed price.

CMC Markets analyst Nicholas Teo said some 354 million shares - around 7 per cent of GLP's stake - were traded at $2.74 in the deal on Thursday morning.

"This would require a shareholding change announcement on Singapore Exchange within five days. Until that announcement is made we can only guess who's behind the deal. But looking at the current shareholding, only Blackrock, Lone Pine Capital and GIC have that much to sell."

As of May 20, GIC owns 35.75 per cent of GLP, Blackrock has 7 per cent and Lone Pine has another 7.99 per cent.

Meanwhile, StarHub dropped the most on the STI, closing eight cents or 1.94 per cent down at $4.05. This extended its drop to a fourth day since reporting a 12.4 per cent drop in first quarter net profit.

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