singapores straits times index closes above 3000 2 1610362015

Regional markets buoyed by hopes of a delay in the US fed interest rate ‘liftoff’.

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By :  ,  Financial Analyst

Singapore’s Straits Times Index consolidated above the 3,000 level, recording its second consecutive close above that psychological threshold on Friday.

Share values were stoked by regional bullishness with Asian markets rising to two-month highs, and a strong overnight close on Wall Street. Asian markets were likely anticipating more monetary easing measures from the Chinese authorities to re-ignite economic growth. On the other hand, investors were emboldened because the US Fed rate hike risk was apparently off the table.

The upward move in the STI was accompanied with markedly higher volume in terms of the number of shares traded on the broad market, though traded value was only moderate.


The Straits Times Index (STI) ended 15.47 points or 0.51 per cent higher at 3,030.61, taking the year-to-date performance to -9.94 per cent.

The FTSE ST Mid Cap Index gained 0.49 per cent, while the FTSE ST Small Cap Index rose 0.06 per cent.

The Singapore Exchange traded a volume of 1,809.5 million shares valued at SG$1,078.6 million. Gainers outnumbered losers by 261/171.

Amongst the FTSE ST sectors, the top gaining sectors included Catalist index (+2.01 per cent), China (+1.17 per cent), maritime (+1.17 per cent), real estate holding and development (+1.07 per cent) and telecommunications (+0.97 per cent). The top losers were technology (-0.94 per cent), consumer goods (-0.66 per cent), utilities (-0.47 per cent), oil and gas (-0.30 per cent) and consumer services (-0.12 per cent).


First Real Estate Investment Trust (SGX:AW9U) was down 1.47 per cent to SG$1.35. The REIT announced that third quarter distributable income rose 6.2 per cent year-on-year to SG$15.6 million, driven chiefly by a better performance from its properties in Indonesia and Singapore. Net profit jumped 6.8 per cent to SG$25 million, the Straits Times said.

Troubled commodity trader Noble Group Limited (SGX:N21) was the top gainer on the STI on Friday, up 2.02 per cent to SG$0.505.

Banks DBS Group Holdings Ltd (SGX:D05) and Oversea-Chinese Banking Corp. Limited (SGX:O39) were also among the top gainers, rising 1.303 per cent and 1.073 per cent respectively.

Economic news

China will likely report its weakest quarterly economic growth today, with analysts expecting growth to slow to 6.8 per cent during the third quarter, down from 7 per cent in the second quarter. This would be China’s weakest quarter since the days of the global financial crisis, when growth slipped to 6.2 per cent in the first quarter of 2009.

Meanwhile, Deputy Prime Minister Tharman Shanmugaratnam said Saturday that the US Fed should go ahead with its rate hike and thereby remove the continuing uncertainty gripping the markets, as well as the accompanying volatility. "There's really a desire on the part of many countries to see the Fed get on with it, move gradually, but move ahead so as to reduce uncertainty," he said, according to the Business Times.

According to data from Savills Research, Singapore-based firms upped their purchases of overseas real estate during the first quarter of this year by 58 per cent year on year to US$17.2 billion (SG$23.7 billion), with London and Sydney accounting for the bulk of the purchases.

On Wall Street Friday, stocks were buoyed by the sharp jump in shares of General Electric Company (NYSE:GE) and the release of encouraging data on consumer sentiment. The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 74.22 points, or 0.43 percent, to 17,215.97, the S&P 500 gained 9.25 points, or 0.46 percent, to 2,033.11 and the Nasdaq Composite added 16.59 points, or 0.34 percent, to 4,886.69.

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