Developments concerning the trade war took another turn in the last few days when the Trump administration threatened to jack up the proposed tariff rate on the next US$200 billion of Chinese imports to 25 percent from the initial 10 percent, as it tried to pressure China back to the negotiation table. In response, China announced that it was prepared to impose retaliatory taxes on US$60 billion of US imports including aircrafts and liquefied natural gas, in which the implementation date will be decided according to the US actions.
Over the last two weeks, Dow Jones Industrial Average dipped 0.1 percent while Shanghai Composite Index plunged 2.7 percent. Amidst escalating trade tensions which showed no signs of abating coupled with the depreciating Chinese Yuan, Hang Seng Index fell 1.5 percent to 28,366.62.
Crude oil price climbed higher after President Trump signed an executive order on 6 August to restore sanctions on Iran, which could lead to a reduction in global supplies. Brent crude oil finished at US$74.43 a barrel on 7 August.
On the local bourse, DBS Group’s 1H18 results missed estimates despite registering a 19.8 percent jump in net profit. United Overseas Bank and Oversea-Chinese Banking Corporation reported 24.4 percent and 22 percent growth in their earnings respectively while Venture’s share price surged 10.4 percent on 6 August driven by a stellar 53.4 percent gain in its half-yearly profit. Meanwhile, Telco giant Singtel posted a 6.6 percent decline in its first quarter net profit on weaker performances from its regional associates.
Equities benchmark Straits Times Index declined by 1.2 percent for the fortnight, closing at 3,284.78.