OVER the course of the week the Straits Times Index (STI) rose about 30 points or 1.1 per cent to 2,763.82, including Friday's 23.71-point bounce. In contrast to most of the past year when banks provided the main index plays, this week saw two other STI members enjoy heavy attention - Global Logistic Properties and Thai Beverage.
There was also a brief burst of activity surrounding low-priced speculatives, particularly those which were central to the penny stock crash of October 2013 - Attilan (formerly Asiasons Capital), Blumont and LionGold.
This created spillover interest in a handful of other penny stocks such as Magnus Energy and Jadason, but overall, the surge proved short-lived, possibly after brokers quickly imposed online trading restrictions on several of these speculatives.
The penny segment's de facto leader throughout the past fortnight has been fund managers ISR Capital, which rocketed from S$0.006 on May 10 to S$0.117 on May 16, an astonishing rise of 1,850 per cent in five sessions. A little over a week ago, when the company was queried by the Singapore Exchange (SGX) for reasons behind the rise, the company responded in the negative. After a brief correction this week, the stock jumped S$0.015 or 19.5 per cent on Friday to S$0.092 on volume of 15.8 million.
Externally, the main market-moving event was the mid-week release of the minutes of the US Federal Open Market Committee's (FOMC) April meeting, which said that if certain conditions were met, a June interest rate hike was possible.