Half-year mark report card on equities

How can I describe half-year performance for financial markets? Horrible!

After a promising start in January when the Straits Times Index (STI) reached a high of 3,609.24 points (YTD change of 6.1%), the STI is now below last year’s closing. The STI was 3,268.70 after six months, a decline of 3.9% year-to-date.

China holds the honour (or dishonour) of the worst performing stock market. Its Shanghai Composite Index was down 13.9%.

The Dow Jones Industrial Index was not spared. It too went below last year’s close. (-1.8%)

See table for the other stock markets I am tracking.

Stock Indices 29-Dec-17 30-Jun-18 YTD Change
Shanghai Composite  3,307.17  2,847.42 -13.9%
Kospi (Korea)  2,467.49  2,326.13 -5.7%
Germany DAX  12,917.64  12,306.00 -4.7%
STI (Singapore)  3,402.92  3,268.70 -3.9%
Hang Seng (HK)  29,919.15  28,955.11 -3.2%
Nikkei 225 (Japan)  22,764.94  22,304.51 -2.0%
Dow Jones (USA)  24,719.22  24,271.41 -1.8%
FTSE100 (UK)  7,687.77  7,672.94 -0.2%
CAC 40 (France)  5,312.56  5,323.53 0.2%
S&P 500 (USA)  2,673.61  2,718.37 1.7%
Taiwan Weighted  10,642.86  10,836.91 1.8%
Australia All Ordinaries  6,171.00  6,289.70 1.9%
Mumbai BSESN  34,056.83  35,423.48 4.0%
Nasdaq (USA)  6,903.39  7,510.30 8.8%

With the overhang of a trade war between the United States and China and also with the European Union, investors were naturally nervous. The tightening of credits around the world (especially in the US), lends some impetus for investors to look at their financial exposures in various investment classes. This uncertainty would not be settled anytime soon. This is the new normal compared with 2017 when the financial markets had a good run.

Looks like I am going to wait out again. In the meantime, I am looking at safe (and to some people boring) asset classes. One is the Singapore Savings Bonds (SSB). The latest issue (GX18070N, 2 July) was 2.23 times subscribed. Those who applied $12,500 and below were fully allotted subject to individual allotment limits. (For more details visit SSB website).

Copyright © 2018, limkimtong for Living Investment

The material presented is intended to be general and written in layman’s language as much as it is possible. The author shall not be liable for any direct or consequential loss arising from any use of material written. Please seek professional advice from your financial advisor or financial institutions on material written covering financial matters.

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