Issues that could shape 2016

Looking forward: The Singapore economy

An office worker at Raffles Place, the heart of the central business district (CBD) on June 3, 2015.
An office worker at Raffles Place, the heart of the central business district (CBD) on June 3, 2015. PHOTO: ST FILE

It will be a challenging year ahead for markets and the global economy, with economic growth in China slowing, higher interest rates and wobbly commodity prices. How will these impact Singapore's economy, as well as stock and property markets?

Liquidity woes, IPO drought still dog SGX

It was a tough year for remisier Desmond Leong last year.

Not only did the market have one of its worst years since the financial crisis, more of his fellow stockbrokers have left the scene as well. "Four or five of my colleagues have left the industry entirely because they see no future in this industry. Stockbroking is looking like a sunset profession now," he said with a sigh.

It is easy to see why people remain gloomy over the market's prospects. Last year, average turnover volume was 1.58 billion shares a day, significantly lower than the average 2.31 billion-share level seen between 2011 and 2014, IG market analyst Bernard Aw said.

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Home prices likely to keep heading south

The property market is poised for further slides this year, with weak economic growth and rising interest rates likely to drag prices south.

 

Remarks by National Development (MND) Minister Lawrence Wong on Wednesday that it is too early to talk about unwinding cooling measures suggest these steps will continue to dampen demand.

As at the third quarter of last year, private home prices had fallen about 8 per cent from their peak in the third quarter of 2013.

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Slow year ahead amid sluggish demand

Manufacturing suffered one of its worst runs last year, and few expect the sector to be a major engine for growth this year.

The outlook remains dim, clouded by sluggish global sentiment, weak oil prices and tough domestic conditions, said analysts.

Factories are mired in the worst "manufacturing recession" since the global financial crisis, said CIMB Private Banking economist Song Seng Wun.

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