Singapore’s Straits Times Index fell 3.48, or 0.2 percent, to close at 1,795.47, trimming its weekly advance to 3.2 percent.
The Straits Times has dropped 48 percent this year.
Developers: CapitaLand Ltd. (CAPL SP), Southeast Asia’s biggest developer by sales, gained 24 cents, or 7.8 percent, to S$3.30. Keppel Land Ltd. (KPLD SP), Singapore’s third-largest developer by assets, jumped 17 cents, or 10 percent, to S$1.79. The stocks have rallied 20 percent and 24 percent respectively this week, their best weekly gains in a decade.
Singapore’s three-month interbank offered rate for U.S. funds dropped to 1.5 percent today, the lowest in more than four years, after the Federal Reserve on Dec. 16 cut its target rate on overnight loans between banks to a range of zero to 0.25 percent to provide liquidity amid a worsening credit crisis.
“It’s a relief rally as we get towards the end of the year and after the Fed cut interest rates in the U.S. to a record low, which will have an effect on mortgage rates here,” said Brandon Lee, a Singapore-based analyst at DMG & Partners Securities Pte.
Transportation stocks: Singapore Airlines Ltd. (SIA SP), Southeast Asia’s largest carrier by market value, gained 56 cents, or 4.8 percent, to S$12.16. ComfortDelGro Corp. (CD SP), the operator of the world’s second-largest fleet of buses and taxis, climbed 2 cents, or 1.4 percent, to S$1.43.
Crude oil for January delivery plunged 9.6 percent yesterday to $36.22 a barrel in New York, the lowest settlement since June 2004. Prices were recently at $35.65.
CapitaCommercial Trust (CCT SP), an office landlord partly owned by Singapore’s largest developer, jumped 4.5 cents, or 4.9 percent, to 96 cents, its highest close since Nov. 11. CapitaCommercial will be protected from falling office rents because its average rents are lower than its rivals’ and its lease terms are longer, CIMB-GK Research said in a report today. The brokerage has an “outperform” rating for the stock.
Olam International Ltd. (OLAM SP), the Singapore-based food-ingredient supplier, gained 6 cents, or 5.2 percent, to S$1.22, its largest gain since Dec. 9. It is acquiring a so- called dehydration facility in California that will contribute to earnings from financial year 2010. Olam is buying the asset from De Francesco and Sons Inc. and related parties to dehydrate garlic, onions and other food ingredients, the company said, without giving the value of the investment.
People’s Food Holdings Ltd. (PFH SP), a China-based meat processor, climbed 1 Singapore cent, or 1.6 percent, to 63 cents. UOB Kay Hian Research Pte raised its share-price estimate to 88 cents from 85 cents, saying demand for pork will withstand slowing economic growth and a reorganization of the industry will benefit larger companies like People’s Food.
Straits Asia Resources Ltd. (SAR SP), a Singapore-listed coal mining company, climbed 1 Singapore cent, or 1.3 percent, to 79.5 cents, ending a three-day, 16 percent retreat. It may spend $860 million to mine the fuel in South Kalimantan, Indonesia, after completing a so-called scoping study, Straits Asia said. The mine at Sebuku may yield 20 million metric tons a year, the company said.
Venture Corp. (VMS SP), a maker of customized electronics, lost 9 cents, or 1.9 percent, to S$4.69, ending a four-day, 12 percent rally. Kim Eng Securities lowered its 2008 profit forecast by 41 percent, citing the writedown of collateralized debt obligations and as demand weakens amid slowing global economic growth.