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Global Markets Rally As Oil Prices Surge
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By: Joey Ho
Articles (30) Profile

Oil prices rallied more than four percent on Thursday, boosted by comments from Saudi Arabia’s oil minister on the possible actions to stabilize prices as well as forecast by the International Energy Agency that crude oil markets would rebalance in the second half of 2016. While oil prices still remain below US$50 per barrel, the surge coupled with strong quarterly retail results boosted major Wall Street indices to new highs.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average gained 0.64 percent to hit a record high of 18,638.34, while the tech-heavy Nasdaq Composite added 0.46 percent closing slightly below its 52-week high at 5,228.40. The S&P 500 set a new high of 2,188.45 after registering a 0.5 percent gain.

Back home in Singapore, the Straits Times Index (STI) fell sharply during early trading despite a stronger opening on Friday. The STI fell close to one percent over the past two weeks, slipping further to end at 2,867.40 as financial stocks remain low amid concerns on the oil and gas sector.

Commodity stocks posted mixed results during the week. Troubled commodity trader, Noble Group, reported a first half net loss of US$14.4 million from a net profit of US$169.2 million in the same period last year. The group has adjusted its focus to cash over profit as it seeks to raise US$2 billion following the two year slump of its share price.

Wilmar International dived into the red with a net loss of US$220.1 million due to untimely purchases of soya beans during the quarter. As opposed to its rivals, Olam International registered a 20 percent increase in net profit as revenue expanded 3.5 percent, supported by a strong performance in its overall food business

Singapore’s economic outlook has weakened due to global economic uncertainties as well as risk of a spike in debt defaults in China. The Ministry of Trade and Industry revised the growth forecast for Singapore’s economy on Thursday, bringing the figures down to between one and two percent, from an initial forecast of one and three percent.

Equipped with a bachelor in banking and finance, Joey covers the finance, technology and healthcare industry in Singapore.

Please click here for more information about this author.

Wilmar Int'l  3.180 +0.03 +0.95%   
Business: Co's integrated agribusiness model encompasses the entire value chain of the agricultural commodity processing biz, from origination and processing to branding, merchandising and distribution of a wide range of agricultural pdts.

Insight: Aug-17, 1H17 revenue increased 15.2% on the back o... Read More
Olam Int'l  2.200 -- --   
Business: Co is engaged in sourcing, processing, packaging and merchandising agricultural products. [FY16 Turnover] Confectionery & beverage ingredients (37.5%), food staples & packaged foods (29.7%), edible nuts, spices & vegetable ingredients (19.3%), industrial raw materials, ag logistics & infrastructure (13.5%).

Insight: Aug-17, 1H17 revenue rose 26.5% mainly on higher s... Read More


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