Singapore Stocks: Cosco Corp., Fraser & Neave, Noble Group

Singapore’s Straits Times Index gained 0.9 percent to 3,070.84 at the close of trading. The gauge headed for a 4.6 percent advance this week, the best weekly performance since July 2009. Eight stocks rose for each that fell in the benchmark index of 30 companies.

Shares on the measure trade at an average 14.1 times estimated earnings, compared with about 15.6 times at the end of 2010, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.

The following shares were among the most active in the market. Stock symbols are in parentheses after the company name.

Bulk-shipping companies: The Baltic Dry Index, which measures the cost of shipping commodities, climbed 1.2 percent in London yesterday, extending its advance for a third day. Mercator Lines (Singapore) Ltd. (MRLN SP), an Indian bulk carrier, gained 2.2 percent to 23 Singapore cents.

Cosco Corp. Singapore Ltd. (COS SP), a China-based shipbuilder that also operates bulk carriers, jumped 3.1 percent to S$2.01 before trading was halted. Cosco said it will resume trading on March 28 after announcing it signed an agreement to build two drilling platforms, valued at $525 million each, for Sevan Drilling Group.

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 yesterday, extending its advance for a seventh day.

Noble Group Ltd. (NOBL SP), a Hong Kong-based supplier of commodities, increased 0.9 percent to S$2.17. Olam International Ltd. (OLAM SP), a Singapore-based supplier of agricultural commodities, gained 1.1 percent to S$2.87.

Fraser & Neave Ltd. (FNN SP), the property developer and beverage maker, advanced 2.9 percent to S$5.72, the best performer on the benchmark Straits Times Index today. The company said its Frasers Hospitality Pte unit will add 25 properties in cities including Jakarta, New Delhi and Istanbul by the end of 2012, according to an exchange statement.

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