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Sembcorp Marine, Rex International and CAO averaged 16% total returns in 2019 to date

SEMBCORP Marine, Rex International and China Aviation Oil Singapore (CAO) have been found to be the three most actively traded when it comes to maritime, oil and gas (O&G) and fuel trading stocks outside of the Straits Times Index (STI), the Singapore Exchange said on Tuesday.

Together, they have a combined market capitalisation of S$4.4 billion, and averaged a cumulative S$14 million in traded turnover a day for the first five months of 2019.

The three stocks have also averaged 8.9 per cent gains over the first 10 sessions of June, bolstering their average total returns in 2019 to date to 15.6 per cent.

As these industries are most directionally impacted by the price of oil, the three stocks’ average 12-month volatility was above 40 per cent, with Rex's annualised volatility nearing 80 per cent.

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The stock trio averaged a 16.8 per cent decline in total returns in 2018, and respective gains of 12.1 per cent and 20.4 per cent in 2017 and 2016.

In terms of trading turnover, Sembcorp Marine ranked 30, Rex International ranked 51 and CAO ranked 73 for the first five months of 2019. Inside the STI, maritime play Yangzijiang Shipbuilding ranked as the seventh most actively traded Singapore-listed stock over the first five months of 2019.

The benchmark price for crude oil has moved from US$45 per barrel (bbl) at the end of 2018 to US$66 per bbl on April 23, and back to US$52 per bbl at present. Key drivers have been economic growth, PMI (purchasing managers' index) and interest rate outlooks, trade tensions, tightening liquidity, sanctions and geopolitics.

Global growth concerns have also offset the impact of tighter supply concerns in recent weeks, SGX said.

An overall improvement in oil prices for the majority of 2018 from January to September has had an overall positive impact on O&G businesses last year, SGX said.

Upstream company KrisEnergy, the next most actively traded stock in the maritime, O&G and fuel trading stocks genre after CAO, saw its average crude oil and liquids selling price for 2018 being 40 per cent higher than in 2017. Overall improvements in oil prices led to "record revenues" for the group.

As at 1.32pm, Sembcorp Marine shares were trading at S$1.48; CAO shares were trading at S$1.31, down one Singapore cent or 0.76 per cent; and Rex International shares were trading at S$0.068, up 0.1 cent or 1.49 per cent.