ECONOMY | Staff Reporter, Singapore

Strait Times Index marks strongest start to a year since 1999

STI recorded a 13.2% price gain over the first four months of 2021.

With 13.2% price gains over the first four months of 2021, this year has been the strongest start to a calendar year for the Strait Times Index (STI) since 1999.

The STI has also been the second strongest benchmark across the Asia Pacific in the 2021 YTD. Together the STI and TAIEX are the sole regional benchmarks to lodge year to date (YTD) double-digit percentage gains.

Comprising 41% of the STI weights, together DBS, OCBC & UOB saw $1.7b of combined net institutional and net proprietary inflows over the past four months, while averaging 20% total returns. Globally, banks have been the strongest stock sector in the 2021 YTD.

For the month of April, the STI added 1.7% price gains, with dividend distributions boosting the benchmark’s total return to 2.0%. The final session of April also saw the STI form a new intra-year high of 3,237.23, a level the STI has not seen since 21 January 2020.

The STI’s five strongest performers over the past four months were Yangzijiang Shipbuilding, Sembcorp Industries, Hongkong Land, Jardine Matheson and OCBC. Together, the five stocks averaged 29% total returns while the five least performing STI stocks generated a 1% decline.

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