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STI Starts Second Quarter On 5-Year High
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By: Choo Hao Xiang
Articles (151) Profile

The Singapore market took a step further after ending the first quarter on a fresh high. In addition to the new record $949.4b in total market value of firms listed on the Singapore Exchange in Mar-13, the local benchmark Straits Times Index mirrored its US counterparts to achieve its best finish in 5 years as the second quarter got underway. Still, given that FTSE Utilities Index came in as the second best performing sector index in the first quarter, investors, faced with lacklustre economic data from the world’s first and second largest economies, seemed to take on a cautious stance.

Even news that the Bank of Japan will take unprecedented steps to boost stimulus failed to prop up regional indices. The central bank plans to double its monetary base in 2 years’ time with the aim of fighting off deflation that has been bothering the nation for 2 decades. The bold signal did send Japan’s Nikkei 225 surging above 13,000 for the first time since Aug-08 though.

Meanwhile, Europe remained on investors’ list of concerns as a rebound is not yet in sight. Not only did jobless rate in the 17-nation Euro-area climb to a record 12% in Feb-13, the region is plagued with its second year of recession.

Back home, while trading volumes have been on the decline as some local brokerages imposed trading curbs, trading activities continued to be concentrated on penny stocks. For the past fortnight, the average unit value traded stood at 39 cents. Among the regulars in the most actives were SingHaiyi Group, LH Group and WE Holdings. As for blue-chips, new STI component Hutchison Port Holdings Trust, replacing Fraser & Neave, had a bumpy debut as dock strike in Hong Kong weighed on investors’ sentiment. The counter lost 3.5 percent over the last 3 sessions.

Looking ahead, all eyes will be on corporate earnings with Singapore Press Holdings slated to kick-start the earnings season on 12 Apr-13.

Haoxiang manages and oversees the portfolio of stocks in the consumer goods and hospitality sectors at Shares Investment.

Please click here for more information about this author.

Singapore Exchange  7.620 +0.16 +2.14%   
Business: [FY18 Turnover] Equities & fixed income (48.2%), derivatives (40.2%), mkt data & connectivity (11.6%).

Insight: Jan-19, 1H19 operating revenue increased 5.7% to $... Read More
Accrelist  0.002 -0.002 -50.00%   
Business: Formerly WE Holdings, Co distributes electronics components and test equipment for the disk drive industry.

Insight: Nov-18, 1H19 revenue more than doubled to $88.4m w... Read More
Hutchison Port Hldgs Trust US  0.235 +0.005 +2.17%   
Business: Co invests in, develops, operates and manages deep-water container ports in the Pearl River Delta.

Insight: Apr-19, 1Q19 revenue inched up 0.3% as combined co... Read More
Fraser & Neave  1.780 +0.050 +2.89%   
Business: [FY18 Turnover] Dairies (60%), beverages (25.4%), printing & publishing (14.6%).

Insight: Apr-19, 1H19 revenue inched 1.9% to $931.8m underp... Read More
Singapore Press Hldgs  2.390 +0.07 +3.02%   
Business: Co is S'pore's main newspaper & magazines publisher that also has investment in properties. [FY18 Turnover] Media (66.7%), property (24.7%), others (8.6%).

Insight: Apr-19, 1H19 operating revenue fell 3% to $477.6m ... Read More


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