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Noble Group drops to 6-year low on commodity rout, criticism
[SINGAPORE] Noble Group Ltd fell to the lowest in more than six years in Singapore as Asia's largest commodity trader by revenue faces a slump in resource prices and criticism of its accounting.
The stock declined 3.1 per cent at the close to 63 Singapore cents, the lowest since January 2009, after plunging as much as 6.9 per cent.
"If there's a sustained decline in commodity prices, that will definitely have an impact on Noble," said Bernard Aw, a Singapore-based strategist at IG Ltd.
The plunge comes on the day crude oil neared a bear market with West Texas Intermediate dropping below US$50 a barrel, gold holding near five-year lows, and Goldman Sachs Group Inc saying Chinese demand growth for copper will slow to the least in two decades.
In addition, Iceberg Research, an anonymous group that has criticized Noble's accounting practices since February, issued its latest report two days ago, rejecting the trading firm's moves to address its critics as inadequate.
Noble Group, which says Iceberg's criticisms are without merit, earlier hired PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP to review how it values some of its assets.
"Investors will probably remain cautious until the PWC report is out," Mr Aw said.
Noble Group spokesman Stephen Brown declined to comment on the stock's decline.