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Hot stocks: Keppel, SembMarine, DBS gain amid hopes of stable oil prices

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SHARES of Keppel Corporation and Sembcorp Marine (SembMarine) surged on Friday amid hopes that oil prices will stabilise. Shares of banks, which have been hit on their oil-and-gas exposure, also rose.

Keppel gained 20 Singapore cents, or 3.4 per cent, to S$6. Its peer SembMarine rose five Singapore cents, or 3 per cent, to S$1.705.

This comes on the back of a recent rally in crude oil. As at 10.10am on Friday, West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude oil futures for deliveries in April were up 0.35 per cent to US$34.69.

"Tell-tale signs of a bottom may be seen from higher and steeper forward curves, healthier speculative positions, and healthy demand outlook in China, Europe and US," said Barnabas Gan, economist at OCBC Bank, in a report this week. He expects WTI and Brent price to hit an eventual US$50 per barrel by the end of the year.

Separately, US fund manager Franklin Resources said on Friday it has become a substantial shareholder of SembMarine after its two funds - Templeton International and Templeton Worldwide - bought S$1.82 million in additional shares in the yard group on March 2.

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Shares of DBS rose sharply on Friday, up 57 Singapore cents or 3.9 per cent, to S$15.28. Shares of OCBC rose nearly 2 per cent to S$8.77, while UOB shares gained 1.1 per cent to S$18.41.

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