STI up for 4 days, boosted by commodity plays

PHOTO: STI up for 4 days, boosted by commodity plays

Singapore shares rose for the fourth straight session, with commodity firms Noble Group Ltd and Wilmar International Ltd notching gains on growing optimism about China's economy.

The benchmark Straits Times Index was up 0.2 per cent at 3,276.2, extending its run to a two-year high and advancing more than 3 per cent so far this year. On Monday, MSCI's broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan fell 0.24 per cent.

Noble shares jumped 2.9 per cent to S$1.26, the highest in more than two months, and were the biggest gainers in the index. Wilmar rose 1.6 per cent and Olam International Ltd put on 1.5 per cent.

"It looks like China's rebound is leading to a re-rating of commodity plays," said one trader. "They were also the big laggards last year, so funds might be rebalancing into them."

China's shares were set for their best day in two weeks.

China's economy could grow at more than 8 per cent in 2013, supporting global economic activity that is set to recover, the head of China's sovereign wealth fund said.