Storms ahead but Singapore likely to be a safe harbour

PHOTO: The New Paper

Last week's spate of surprises - and volatility - means Singapore equities could be in for more unpredictability in the coming days.

This follows the stunning outcome of the United States election on Wednesday, where Donald Trump beat rival Hillary Clinton and market forecasts to emerge as president-elect.

Most Asian markets and emerging market currencies finished the week severely beaten down, amid uncertainty over the potential impact of a Trump presidency.

The local Straits Times Index fell 19.49 points or 0.69 per cent to 2,814.6 last Friday, although it was still up by 25.8 points or 0.93 per cent for the week.

On Wall Street, the Dow Jones Industrial Average climbed 0.21 per cent to cap its best week in five years, overturning expectations that developed stock markets would tank on a Trump victory.

"We're seeing the US dollar firm up so strongly, and it is probably less because the market is looking at Trump's business-friendly policies but more because we've got the elections out of the way. The Fed now has a clearer passage to a December rate hike," said KGI Securities (Singapore) trading strategist Nicholas Teo.

"The Singapore market will likely get its best clues from currency moves, which could see more volatility.

"That said, there will come a time where the emerging markets story turns negative, and Singapore will attract those looking to take flight to stability," Mr Teo told The Straits Times, noting this means the sell-down here will probably not be as bad as compared with elsewhere in the region.

The spotlight will continue to be on the US, even as a number of key economic data from the region are set to be released next week.

Japan will unveil third-quarter gross domestic product numbers today. China is due to release data on October's industrial production.

At home, retail sales data will come in tomorrow, followed by October's non-oil domestic exports on Thursday.

Notable movements in the local market last week included that of commodity trader Noble Group, which remained the most heavily traded.

 

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