Monday's column this week said Wall Street would probably welcome last Friday's weak US jobs report because the market is now in a "bad economic news is good for stocks" mode since it means interest rate hikes would be delayed. This prediction turned out to be accurate - the US market rose sharply on Monday with news reports citing the weak payroll numbers as the main reason.
This in turn made for a firm Tuesday session for the Straits Times Index which added 12.71 points at 3,465.62, although the real action once again lay in penny stocks. Turnover amounted to an unimpressive dollar total of S$952.7 million, although the unit volume was an eye-catching 2 billion. The average value per unit traded was S$0.48, compared to around S$1 for most of the first quarter. Last week, this metric was S$0.60 for two of the four trading sessions.
Of the 20 most active stocks, 18 were priced below S$0.50 and 17 below S$0.20. The only STI component in the actives list was Golden Agri Resources and Noble Group. For most of the first quarter, three other index stocks featured regularly in the list - Genting Singapore, Singtel and Thai Beverage.