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Editorial Desk Singapore
Editorial Desk | 04 January 2013
By: Xavier Lim
Articles (51) Profile

Stock markets around the globe wrapped up the year 2012 with strong gains despite a number of macroeconomic challenges. The Standard & Poor’s 500 Index added 13 percent, while the Germany’s DAX Index posted 29 percent gain for the whole year. Both the Hang Seng and the Nikkei 225 indexes registered over 20 percent gains and our local bourse, the Straits Times Index (STI) recorded a total return of 19.7 percent.

Notably, our SI portfolio, inclusive of dividends, have generated a total return of 43.5 percent for the year ended 31 December 2012! Since the start of 2012, SI portfolio has been outperforming the STI for each cumulative quarter. Turn to page 7 for more details to see how we had beaten the STI.

On the first trading day of 2013, global stock markets rallied strongly as US lawmakers reached a last-minute deal to avert the so-called fiscal cliff. The deal had also sent the oil and gold prices higher, while the US dollar lower.

Over in the Eurozone, its manufacturing output unexpectedly contracted in December, adding to signs that a recession might extend while its leaders fight the debt crisis. On the other hand, China’s official purchasing managers’ index (PMI) for the non-manufacturing sector rose to a four-month high of 56.1 in December from 55.6 in November, this is the third consecutive month in expansion territory.

Back home, our economy grew 1.8 percent quarter-on-quarter in the fourth quarter of 2012, compared with a revised 6.3 percent contraction in the third quarter, avoiding a technical recession.

With this mixed bag of reports, what will 2013 mean for stock markets? Will this four-year-old bull market continue its run in 2013?

In our cover story this issue, we have invited four market experts to share their views on the market outlook this year; they highlighted that the current bull market will continue due to the numerous stimulus measures churned out by central banks in 2012. However, they also warned that stock markets are likely to remain volatile. So how should investors ride on this wave without getting trapped in the volatility that is likely to stay? Flip no more to page 10 to find out what the market experts have to say and their favourite picks for 2013.

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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