Singapore: Banks help STI bounce off 5-month low

THE Straits Times Index (STI) slumped to a five-month low this week when it closed at 3,295 on Tuesday, before a three-day rebound that included a 6.18- point rise on Friday took it to 3,353.85. The initial impetus for that bounce came from news that MSCI has postponed including China 'A' shares in its emerging markets index, which meant Singapore's weighting will not be cut - yet.

Additional momentum was then generated by a mid-week rally on Wall Street, reportedly because of news that the US economy is strengthening but more likely simply short-covering after days of weakness.

Over the course of the week, the index gained 20 points or 0.6 per cent. Volume during the week was mediocre, peaking at S$1.3 billion on Tuesday and Thursday. Friday's total, however, was a weak 1.3 billion units worth S$948 million. Excluding warrants, there were 187 rises versus 229 falls, so the session was weaker than the index's reading suggests.

Banks have contributed greatly towards supporting the index, particularly DBS which despite dropping S$0.22 on Friday still managed a gain of S$0.77 or 3.8 per cent over the week at S$20.98.

Deutsche Bank in a June 10 "buy" said it recently hosted a non-deal roadshow for DBS in the US and said DBS is its best pick in the sector. Deutsche's 12-month target price for the stock is S$23.20.

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