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STI ends 2012 up 20%

It was the index’s best performance for three years.

OCBC Investment Research said:

The rally by US stocks on the last trading day of 2012 is likely to provide a boost to local sentiment this morning.

As a recap, the STI continued to consolidate in its 3150 – 3200 trading range in the last session although it did end 0.8% lower.

But with today’s tone likely to improve, we could see the index pushing for another test at the 3200 key psychological obstacle again.

Above that, the next hurdle lies at the 3230 support-turned-resistance. On the downside, 3150 is still the immediate support, with the subsequent base pegged at the 3110 key resistance-turned-support.

IG Markets Singapore meanwhile noted:

The STI ended the year up 20% despite so many nerve-wracking events that included fears of a Greek exit from the eurozone, worries over a collapse in the Spanish banking sector and concerns that the Fed wouldn’t commit more liquidity to global markets.

Ironically, while fewer dangers exists on the global horizon in the coming year the STI may well record much lower returns in what could be a very modest period for local economic growth. Single digit returns for Singapore’s blue chip index are being forecast for 2013 after last year’s strong performance.

Singapore’s GDP disappointed last year at 1.2%, below the modest 1.5% expected.

Despite that, 2012’s near-20% return for the STI was its best performance for three years. Back in 2009 the local market rallied 64% which was also highly unexpected given the economic climate at the time.

Property stocks were the outstanding stocks last year along with Reits as local traders opted for the safe-haven of bricks-and-mortar. CapitaMallsAsia rocketed 73% while CapitaLand soared 70%.

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