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COMMENTS by US Federal Reserve chair Janet Yellen on Wednesday about moving ahead with interest rate hikes "in a timely fashion" because it's the "prudent thing to do" weighed on stocks here, dragging the Straits Times Index lower on Thursday and Friday.
These losses ate into gains made earlier in the week, resulting in the index recording a nett gain of just 12 points at 3,010.47 for the week. All throughout, volume was low. Friday's 1.1 billion units worth S$743.3 million, when the STI dropped 13.18 points, was a typical example. Of this, S$456 million or 61 per cent came from trading in the 30 STI stocks, leaving the rest of the market - almost 800 counters - to contribute 942 million units worth S$287 million.
All three banks reported their third quarter figures during the week, results which were broadly in line with expectations. Analysts have expressed concerns over asset quality, non-performing loans and the impact rising interest rates would have on bank figures and over the five days, DBS gained S$0.13 at S$17.40, UOB also rose S$0.13 to S$20.46 and OCBC added S$0.04 at S$9.07. All three however, fell on Friday.
Nomura in its Nov 3 marketing feedback report said fund managers it spoke to in Hong Kong and Singapore are largely underweight Asean banks.