The Trading Week In Five Numbers: Satisfying SATS

According to some people, the 17 points rise in the Straits Times Index (SGX: ^STI) on Monday was due to month-end window dressing. Fund managers have been known to pretty up their portfolios by selling their embarrassing holdings and replacing them with stocks that they might be prouder to be associated with, before they have to submit their report cards.

But if Monday’s rise was due to window dressing, what could possibly have caused the 16 points rise on Tuesday; the 44 points rise on Wednesday and the 60 points rise on Thursday? Answers on a postcard please.

Airport services company, SATS (SGX: S58), could be delighted by the near 1% rise in visitor numbers to Singapore last year. The actual number of 15.2 million was some way short of the 17 million that the Singapore Tourism Board had forecasted, though. But that is still 15 million more people, most of whom passed through Changi Airport.

China’s economy is set to slow further following some poor February numbers. The Purchasing Managers Index dropped to 49.0 last month, which suggests a contraction to its once robust manufacturing sector.

The finger of blame has been pointed at weaker demand both at home and abroad, and an oversupply within China itself. But that could mean even more money being pumped by the central bank into the Chinese economy to avert a bigger problem. Busy time for the money printers.

Singapore banks could be disappointed by the tepid demand for loans by businesses and consumers. Loans through domestic banks stood at S$600 billion in January, which was a drop of 0.7% from the previous month. That’s not great news for DBS Group (SGX: D05), Oversea-Chinese Banking Corporation (SGX: O39) and United Overseas Bank (SGX: U11).

And finally, have you seen the price of oil recently? It didn’t seem that long along that pundits were talking about Oilmageggon and oil at $20. The price of a barrel of the black stuff is now closer to $35 a barrel than $25. A barrel of Brent Crude would set you back nearly $37. Can the person who was calling oil at $20 a barrel please come forward and explain? No? Though not!

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