Golden Agri soars on positive earnings, Singapore market jittery
SINGAPORE, March 3 (Reuters) - Golden Agri-Resources Ltd outperformed a jittery Singapore stock market on Monday, heading for its biggest daily gain in six months after well-received earnings.
Shares of the palm oil plantation firm jumped 5.4 percent to their three-month high of S$0.59, with 98.5 million shares changing hands as of 0354 GMT, more than three times the 30-day average daily volume.
Golden Agri reported a 129 percent surge in fourth-quarter net profit on Friday, helped by a better sales performance in China.
OCBC Investment Research maintained its "hold" rating on Golden Agri, increasing its fair value to S$0.52 from S$0.50 and its 2014 revenue estimate by 2-3 percent.
"Going forward, management remains largely positive about its prospects," OCBC said in a research note.
The benchmark Straits Times Index opened the week with a lull, declining nearly 0.8 percent to 3,085.8 as of 0352 GMT, in line with other Asian markets, as escalating tensions between Russia and the West caused jitters. MSCI's broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan fell 0.8 percent.
Figures showing Chinese manufacturing activity fell in February added to the gloomy sentiment. The final Markit/HSBC manufacturing Purchasing Managers' Index (PMI) fell to a seven-month low of 48.5 in February, reinforcing concerns of a slowdown in the world's second largest economy.
Noble Group Ltd and Olam International Ltd were the worst performers, down 3.8 percent and 2.8 percent, respectively. Shares of Olam International were headed for their biggest daily decline in more than five weeks.
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