Market focus could shift inwards this week as the local third-quarter earnings season gathers steam, according to market analysts.
A number of Singapore real estate investment trusts (Reits), including Keppel Reit, Frasers Centrepoint Trust, Mapletree Industrial Trust and CapitaCommercial Trust, will be unveiling results through the week, starting today.
"The market will be keen to hear more about the managements' outlook statements and guidance on possible headwinds from rental reversions," Mr Nicholas Teo, trading strategist at KGI Securities (Singapore), told The Straits Times.
Local bourse operator Singapore Exchange is announcing its results tomorrow, followed by CapitaLand on Wednesday.
Keppel Corporation's Thursday unveiling will be closely watched as well - "not just from the oil and gas angle, but also on the property business, especially in China, where the residential property market has started to exude 'bubble-like' symptoms of late", noted Mr Teo.
Generally, market expectations of strong corporate earnings are low amid the slowing economy.
CUSHIONING OF IMPACT
Given that the Singapore market has already lagged behind its regional peers in the last three months, the downside is limited as compared to other markets.
MS MARGARET YANG, market analyst at CMC Markets.
Data last Friday showed Singapore's economy expanded well below market consensus at 0.6 per cent in the third quarter - the slowest growth in seven years.
The weak gross domestic product numbers are likely to weigh on market sentiment ahead of the earnings season, said Ms Margaret Yang, market analyst at CMC Markets.
"Yet, given that the Singapore market has already lagged behind its regional peers in the last three months, the downside is limited as compared to other markets," she said. "The risk-reward is further cushioned by cheap valuation and relatively high dividend yield."
The third US presidential debate, set to take centrestage on Thursday morning Singapore time, may also affect investor sentiment. The markets have priced in a Hillary Clinton presidency, with control of the US Congress remaining in the hands of the Republican Party in the US elections next month.
On the economic data front, Singapore is due to release numbers on non-oil domestic exports today, while China will put out a slew of key figures on Wednesday, including third-quarter gross domestic product, industrial production and retail sales, which could influence market movement.
The past week was a dismal one for Singapore equities. The benchmark Straits Times Index fell by 60 points or 2.09 per cent to 2,815.24 for the week - its worst showing in more than two months.
Thai Beverage was one of the biggest drags on the index, slumping 4.5 cents or 4.5 per cent for the week to finish at 95 cents. The Thai market saw much volatility amid worries over the health of the country's monarch, who died last Thursday.
The local banks also lost ground amid fears of tightening monetary policy. DBS Group Holdings, for example, which finished flat at $15.03 last Friday, was down 2.5 per cent for the week.
Most of the action was dominated by penny stocks, including Spackman Entertainment Group, which surged 2.1 cents or 17.2 per cent to 14.3 cents last Friday, and was up 21.2 per cent for the week, after RHB initiated coverage on the firm with a "buy" call and a target price of 22 cents.