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Straits Times 3,211.49 +16.53 +0.52%
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Markets A Mixed Bag On Strong Data And Cooling Measures
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By: Nicholas Tan
Articles (71) Profile

Equity markets went into overdrive with the Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJIA) setting its third straight all-time high at 14,329.49 on 7 Mar, bettering its previous record highs performance. As an upbeat hiring report stating businesses added a robust 198,000 jobs in Feb, better than the 170,000 estimated, livened up the market. While the equity bull market continues to rage to new heights, economists forewarns and predicts that without filling up the US$85b automatic fiscal spending cuts which kicked-in on 1 Mar, the US economic growth recovery might be hindered and GDP down between 0.3% to 0.6% this year.

In Asia, China stocks plunged on 4 Mar dragging down the CSI 300 Index by the most in 2 years after the government ordered more measures to cool property prices and growth in the nation’s service industries expanded at the slowest pace in 5 months. Turning to Japan, its benchmark index, the Nikkei 225 reached a multi-year closing high at 11,968.08 on 7 Mar, the highest finish since Sep-08. Further positive news came in as Japan’s yen weakened to ¥95 per dollar for the first time since 2009, signaling the fiscal and monetary balance combination used by the Abe government is taking shape on the economy.

Back home, Budget 2013 dominated the headlines and market movement. Further property cooling measures were implemented through higher taxes on luxury homeowners and investment properties to curb speculation. This was in line with the government’s view on property prices still remaining “too high”, however the effect on property counters’ stock price was largely muted over the fortnight. In the IPO scene, the euphoria for the mega-IPO Mapletree Greater China Commercial Trust which debuted on 7 Mar, went unabated and closed at $1.03, up 10.8% from its IPO offer price of $0.93.

The STI closed at 3,289.53 on 8 Mar with its immediate resistance at 3,315 and support level at 3,260, continuing its sideway trend over the 2 weeks.

Well trained in aspects of finance and business, Nicholas oversees the finance and manufacturing sectors at Shares Investment.

Please click here for more information about this author.

Mapletree North Asia Commercial Trust  1.340 +0.010 +0.75%   
Business: Real estate investment trust focused on commercial assets (comprising retail & office) in HK & China.

Insight: Apr-19, FY19 revenue rose 15.1% due to higher rent... Read More

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