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Just How Bad Was August for Singapore’s Stock Market?

The past month had not been kind to investors in Singapore. Based on closing day prices, the Straits Times Index (SGX: ^STI), Singapore’s most prominent stock market barometer, had fallen by 11% from peak-to-trough.

Has something gone wrong within the financial markets?

Let’s see what history can tell us. To do that, I had pulled up historical records for the Straits Times Index going back to 1992 (that’s as far as I can go with my database provider S&P Capital IQ) and looked at the worst peak-to-trough losses for the index for the month of August in each year.

Here’s what I found:

Year Worst peak-to-trough loss in August
1998 -17.63%
2011 -15.41%
2015 -11.05%
1992 -9.95%
2007 -8.89%
1999 -8.16%
1997 -8.04%
2013 -7.68%
2008 -7.40%
2009 -5.92%
1995 -4.63%
2005 -4.57%
2001 -4.10%
2010 -3.49%
2002 -3.47%
1994 -3.36%
2004 -3.25%
2003 -3.11%
2000 -2.84%
2012 -2.46%
1996 -2.29%

Source: S&P Capital IQ

As you can see, August 2015 was only the third worst August over the past 23 years. Now, this is important. The Straits Times Index is today nearly double where it was back in 1992 – and this has happened despite the really painful Augusts in 1998 and 2011 that we’ve seen.

In other words, there’s nothing broken with Singapore’s financial market. What we saw over the past month is just what stocks do regularly over the short-term – fluctuate.

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The information provided is for general information purposes only and is not intended to be personalised investment or financial advice. Motley Fool Singapore writer Chong Ser Jing doesn't own shares in any company mentioned.