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Straits Times 3,357.22 -20.74 -0.61%
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STI Loses Ground After Hitting Historical High
By: Jimmy Ng
Articles (51) Profile

The Federal Reserve kept its key interest rate unchanged at a range of 1.5 percent to 1.75 percent, citing that inflation has climbed higher and is likely to move closer to the central bank’s target of 2 percent. Nonetheless, the Fed maintained its stance that further rate hikes will be needed in the coming months. Over the last two weeks, Dow Jones Industrial Average slid 3 percent to end at 23,930.15.

Meanwhile, market watchers are keeping a close watch on the outcome of the US-China trade negotiations as delegates from the US arrived in Beijing this week. The US team, which includes Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin and US Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer, is hopeful of making meaningful progress in easing the tensions between the world’s two largest economies, although many are not so optimistic of a major breakthrough. Last fortnight, Hang Seng Index dipped 1.6 percent while Shanghai Composite Index rose 0.6 percent respectively.

Singapore’s manufacturing sector saw its 20th straight month of expansion in April 2018, with the local Purchasing Mangers’ Index (PMI) standing at 52.9. Though slightly down from 53 in March, attributable to a slower growth in new orders and exports, the figure still indicate expansion with a reading above 50. Since October 2017, PMI has fluctuated in a range between 52.6 and 53.1.

On 2 May 2018, Straits Times Index (STI) marked a milestone by ending the day at its highest close since 2008 at 3,615.28, driven by stellar earnings delivered by the local banks. DBS reported a 20.6 percent surge in 1Q18 net profit to $1.5 billion underpinned by higher interest rates and loans growth. Likewise, UOB also registered an equally lustrous 21.2 percent earnings growth three days later. OCBC will be releasing its results on the coming 7 May. Unfortunately, subsequent pull-backs bring the STI 28 points down to finish at 3,545.38.

Equipped with a Bachelor in Mechanical Engineering and a few years of experience in the finance industry, Jimmy hopes to help investors gain deeper insights and make well-informed decisions by sharing his perspective.

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