Pursuant to US Fed raising its benchmark interest rate by another 25 basis points to 1 – 1.25 percent and signaling another increase in the later part of the year, Dow Jones marked another record high of 21,528.99 on 19 June. Nevertheless, profit taking and falling oil prices pressured the Wall Street benchmark to shed some gains. Over the fortnight, Dow climbed one percent to close at 21,397.29. Meanwhile, Nasdaq experienced a much heavier sell-off to lose 1.3 percent closing at 6,236.69 while S&P 500 remained largely flat at 2,434.5.
MSCI announced that it would include 222 China A-shares to its MSCI Emerging Markets Index from next year. In spite of that, Shanghai Composite Index remained flat to close at 3,157.87, while an unaffected Hang Seng Index trod lower by 1.4 percent ending at 25,670.05. Nikkei remained above 20,000 and posted a modest gain of 0.6 percent to finish the fortnight at 20,132.67.
Back at home, Singapore’s non-oil domestic exports (NODX) dipped 1.2 percent in May 2017 year-on-year, but nonetheless, electronic NODX grew seven consecutive months. According to a survey by the Monetary Authority of Singapore, the median consensus of private-sector economists on Singapore’s Gross Domestic Product growth for 2017 has been lifted slightly from 2.3 percent to 2.5 percent. Over the fortnight, Straits Times Index slid 1.4 percent to 3,209.47.
Noble reclaimed its title as being the most volatile stock on SGX this week as its share price soared 55.4 percent over two trading days with 225.6 million shares changing hands. The cash-strapped commodity trader surged on news that it has managed to secure a four-month credit extension, giving it a much-needed, though limited, respite.
Wee Cho Yaw-linked companies hogged the headlines late into the fortnight after Haw Par Corp and UOL entered into a share swap agreement whereby the latter will issue 27.3 million new shares to the former for Haw Par Corp’s stake of 60 million UIC shares. The move will increase UOL’s stake in UIC from 44.7 percent to 48.9 percent.