Weekly Sprout

Weekly recap: T-bill yield and SSB rates climb

By Gerald Wong, CFA • 02 Mar 2024 • 0 min read

The Singapore T-bill yield and SSB interest rates rose while S&P 500 reached a record high.

what happened in the markets 2 march 2024

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At the end of last month, I asked a friend who was recently looking for a new savings account whether she had done so.

“I’m waiting for March so that I can be the 1st 200  new-to-bank customers of the month and win the promotion rewards”, she shared. 

(No prizes for guessing which savings account she opened in the end)  

Indeed, many of us always await the start of the month to find out if there are better ways to grow our wealth. 

This month, the 10-year average return on the Singapore Savings Bonds (SSB) rebounded to above 3%, providing an option for investors looking to lock in interest rates for a longer period.

Earlier, we also saw the cut-off yield on the latest 6-month Singapore T-bill jump to 3.8% as demand moderated. 

Most banks have also kept the interest rates on savings accounts unchanged in March.

However, the fixed deposit rates have fallen further, with the best 6-month fixed deposit rate now at 3.35% p.a. 

If you are looking to make your savings work harder like my friend, we hope you try out our compare yield tool to choose the best instrument for your portfolio. 

what happened in the markets 2 march 2024
Source: Bloomberg. Price as of market close on 1 March 2024

 

🥇 STELLAR EARNINGS

What happened? 

As the earnings season comes to an end, the results scorecard is showing that US companies have performed exceptionally well this quarter.

Earnings growth of companies in the S&P 500 reached about 8%, exceeding the expectation for a 1.2% rise before the start of the results season. 

What does this mean?

About 76% of companies announced earnings that beat market expectations, above the 10-year average of 74%, according to Bloomberg Intelligence. 

This demonstrates that companies have been able to withstand the macroeconomic uncertainty fairly well.

Why should I care? 

The S&P 500 index closed at another record high, with gains led by tech stocks and chipmakers, including Nvidia

Closer to home, the results have been less impressive, with OCBC disappointing on its earnings.

💡 THE BIG IMPORTANT STORY

T-bill yield rises to 3.8%. Why the jump?

The cut-off yield on the latest 6-month Singapore T-bill auction on 29 February jumped to 3.80%.

singapore t-bill auction 29 feb 2024 result

🚗 WHAT'S MOVING

  • OCBC reported net profit of S$1.62 billion in the fourth quarter, below consensus expectation of S$1.71 billion. The company declared a final dividend of 42 cents, bringing its total dividend for the full year to 82 cents per share. Read our analysis here. 
  • SATS reported a net profit of S$31.5 million in the third quarter of fiscal year 2024, an increase of 41.9% compared to the previous year. The higher profit was driven by improved performance across business units as well as strong seasonality in its cargo business. 
  • ST Engineering reported a net profit of S$305.9 million in the second half of 2023, an increase of 19.9% compared to the previous year. This was driven by an increase in revenue largely due to growth of its commercial aerospace segment. The company announced a final dividend of 4 cents, which will bring total dividends for FY2023 to 16 cents per share. 
  • ComfortDelgro reported a net profit of S$102 million for the second half of 2023, an increase of 76.5% compared to the previous year. The higher earnings was driven by sustained improvements in the company’s core public transport and taxi and private hire segments. The company announced a final dividend of 3.76 cents per share, which will bring the full year dividend to 6.66 cents per share. 
  • Seatrium reported a net loss of $1.68 billion for the second half of 2023, largely due to non-cash write downs, provisions for contracts, legal and corporate claims, as well as merger expenses. Seatrium will undertake a 20:1 share consolidation exercise to increase market interest in its listed shares. The company also announced that it has reached in-principle settlement agreements with the Brazilian Authorities in relation to the historical event Operation Car Wash
  • Frasers Centrepoint Trust will be added to the Straits Times Index (STI) following the latest STI quarterly review, replacing Philippine liquor giant Emperador. The inclusion will be effective on 18 March 2024.  Here's what you need to know about Frasers Centrepoint Trust. 

Source: Bloomberg, CNBC, Financial Times, Business Times, Edge Singapore

💰 MONEY DIARIES 

What I Did With My First Paycheck To Get To $100k by 30

Here's how I grew my savings to S$100,000 when I was 30.

how to get 100k savings by 30

🤓 WHAT WE’RE LOOKING OUT FOR THIS WEEK

  • Monday, 4 Mar: Sea Limited results
  • Tuesday, 5 Mar: NIO results
  • Friday, 8 Mar: US non-farm payroll data

Source: Bloomberg, SGX 

👩‍💻 WATCH OUR RECAP

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This article was first published on 02 March 2024 .

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