A broad overview sees the index largely thriving in a sideway trade for the majority of the year.
At a year-to-date (YTD) return of -0.5% as of 29 December 2016, the MSCI Singapore Free index sits in the middle of the pack on the Asian equities report card. This pales in comparison to the Straits Times Index’s (STI) near neutral level. Outperformers in the region include Thailand’s SETi and Indonesia’s JCI with more than 10% gains YTD. Meanwhile Asia’s bedrock, China, saw its indices slump. The Shanghai Composite Index and Shenzhen CSI 300 Index were both seen with double digit losses, unable to recover from the crash at the beginning of the year.
Slowing economic growth in Singapore, with 2016 full-year growth expected to arrive at approximately 1.4% year-on-year (YoY) down from 2.0% YoY in 2015, coupled with a series of uncertainties have casted a shadow on the local bourse.
Sectoral breakdown finds positive YTD returns in the majority of sectors with the exception of the industrials, evidently still hard-pressed by the weak global and regional trade conditions in the year. Diving into the industrials, one would find the marine and offshore (M&O) sector weighing the heaviest upon the overall index.