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Singapore: STI drops 1% in low-volume, low-volatility week


FOUR consecutive days of losses followed by a rebound on the fifth, a broad decline of interest in penny stocks punctuated by bursts of interest in a few, and no real direction from overseas markets.

In a nutshell, these were the main features of the past week, which - it has to be said - lent credence to the adage "sell in May and go away".

Between Monday and Thursday, the Straits Times Index (STI) dropped 55 points, a loss that was reduced by Friday's 19.23 point bounce to 3,452.01. For the week, the index recorded a 35 point or one per cent fall.

Turnover was generally soft, Tuesday's S$886 million believed to be the lowest one-day total this year. On Friday, not much better was done - 1.2 billion units worth S$991 million. Despite the STI's rise - which came thanks to rises in the Jardine stable, Singtel and the banks - the advance-decline score excluding warrants was a close 236-200.

Market voices on:

Broker comments throughout the week were largely disparaging, the impression being that after a brief spike of interest in April, it is now back to the "low volume, low volatility" market of 2014 once again. Keeping a lid on prices was a largely soft Wall Street which appears to be undecided over the fate of interest rates.