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The Straits Times Index Slumped 3% for the Week, Hitting a Low Last Seen in January 2017

Sudhan P.

The local stock market bellwether, the Straits Times Index (SGX: ^STI), slipped 3% or 90 points for the week to close at 2,972 on Friday. Almost all of 2017’s and 2018’s index gains have been wiped off thus far. The index last ended at around this level in early 2017.

Of the 30 index components, 21 were in the red, while the remaining nine were in the green. The biggest loser of the STI was Keppel Corporation Limited (SGX: BN4); the conglomerate’s shares tumbled 8.1% to S$6.10.

Keppel Corp announced its earnings for the third quarter of 2018 last week. The conglomerate saw huge declines of over 14% each in its top-line and bottom-line. To know more about the latest financial results, you can check out the earnings coverage here.

Another poor performer during the week was United Overseas Bank Ltd (SGX: U11), despite posting an overall positive set of results. For its third quarter, the bank’s net interest income, total income, operating profit, and net profit all improved on a year-on-year basis. Net profit jumped 17% to S$1.04 billion. Shares in UOB inched down 5% to S$24.07 each, giving a price-to-book (PB) ratio of 1.2 and a dividend yield of 3.9% (excluding any special dividend).

UOB’s peer, Oversea-Chinese Banking Corporation (SGX: O39), is set to announce its third quarter earnings in the coming week. OCBC shares fell 2.9% to S$10.40 apiece for the week. At that share price, the bank was going at a PB ratio of 1.1 and a dividend yield of 3.8%.

Among the winners’ camp, Golden Agri-Resources Ltd (SGX: E5H) and Wilmar International Limited (SGX: F34) were the best performers. The former rose 6.3% to S$0.255 while the latter went up 4% to S$3.13.

Elsewhere, Singapore Post Limited (SGX: S08) shares slumped 5.7% to S$1.00 each. The postal outfit will be releasing its earnings for its second quarter on this coming Friday. For the first quarter, revenue improved by 3.3% year-on-year but underlying net profit went in the opposite direction, falling 9.8%. Will things improve for Singapore Post? That’s something I’ll be looking out for.

The SPDR STI ETF (SGX: ES3), an exchange-traded fund which tracks the fundamentals of the Straits Times Index, had a price-to-earnings ratio of 10.4 and a distribution yield of 3.8% as of Friday.

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The information provided is for general information purposes only and is not intended to be personalised investment or financial advice. The Motley Fool Singapore has recommended shares of United Overseas Bank Ltd and Oversea-Chinese Banking Corporation. Motley Fool Singapore contributor Sudhan P doesn't own shares in any companies mentioned.