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Straits Times 3,110.87 -16.87 -0.54%
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Dow Jones 26,252.24 +49.51 +0.19%
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Editorial Desk
Editorial Desk | 12 April 2012
By: Xavier Lim
Articles (51) Profile

Global stock markets staged a weak performance as the US economy added weaker-than-expected jobs data with 120,000 jobs in March. This is the first time since November where hiring failed to top the 200,000 mark. Nevertheless, US unemployment rate fell to 8.2 percent last month from 8.3 percent in February. However, the data from the US Department of Labour showed that the decline stemmed entirely from people dropping out of the labour force.

Adding to the selloff was the worrying 10-year Spanish government bond yields that added 19 basis points to 5.93 percent. This is a level that has not been seen since the European Central Bank injected about US$1.3 trillion into the banking system. This spooked investors into worrying once again that the debt crisis is deepening.

However, the Bank of Japan believes that Europe has stopped deteriorating and the financial markets were generally stable despite the still decelerating overseas economies. In addition, the central bank also pointed out that Japan’s economic activity has showed some signs of uptick. Hence, the central bank kept its key interest rate unchanged between 0 percent to 0.1 percent and did not introduce any new easing measures.

Meanwhile, China’s March consumer prices climbed more-than-expected to 3.6 percent, creating an obstacle to the Chinese central bank for a possible monetary easing in the months ahead. At the same time, China recorded a trade surplus of US$5.35 billion last month due to weaker-than-expected growth in imports year-on-year. This raised further concerns about the pace of slowdown in China’s domestic demand.

Well, if you think that the market has turned bearish and would like to short some blue chip shares, but are not sure how to do it, flip no further to page 11 as Phillip Securities shared with us on how investors can tap on their “Securities Borrowing and Lending” services to short sell the counters you want.

Do you still remember our SI portfolio that was featured in the beginning of this year, issue 425 and 426?

We are proud to say that our SI portfolio has OUTPERFORMED the Straits Times Index by four percentage points as at 30 March 2012! This issue, we will take a closer look on their first quarter respective corporate developments and examine the prospects for the 12 counters in our portfolio. Details are available in our cover story from page 6.

We also have a story on HanKore Environment Technology Group that has shed off from its old shell, Bio-Treat Technology Limited. Having been taken over by the present Executive Chairman, David Chen, the company has made a turnaround in its financial results.

With the reporting season under way, do invest with care as volatility remains the name of the game.

Armed with an arsenal of investment knowledge, Xavier is the Senior Research Editor at Shares Investment.

Please click here for more information about this author.

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