Oil prices, Olam buying-in main features this week

Published Sun, Nov 30, 2014 · 09:50 PM

LAST week's column alerted readers to the likelihood that the Straits Times Index would be propped up or "window-dressed" on Friday. This is because some funds close their books for the year on Nov 30 and, in what has been a largely forgettable 2014, others might be tempted to follow suit.

We got that part right. The STI did nothing of note between Monday and Thursday but then burst into life on Friday with a jump to 3,350, which brought its gain for the year so far to 5.9 per cent in local currency.

What we didn't get right was that the push involved the same stocks that have accounted for the index's outperformance in 2014, i.e. the banks and Jardine group, and not laggards like Thai Beverage and oil and gas stocks which we thought might play a part.

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