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The Week In Numbers: Are You Worried Yet?

The Dow Jones Industrial Index jumped a whopping 274 points on Wednesday. It was the biggest one-day gain this year. The rise in America’s benchmark index was thanks to some soothing words from the Federal Reserve Chair, Janet Yellen.

It would seem that the US central bank is in no great rush to raise interest rates. The Federal Reserve also appears to be mindful of slowing global growth, unemployment levels and the strengthening US dollar.

The rise in the Dow Jones Industrial Index on Wednesday contrasted sharply with the stock market fall in the previous day’s trading. On Tuesday, it fell 273 points after the International Monetary Fund (IMF) trimmed its forecast for global growth. The IMF now reckons that global economies could expand 3.3% this year, which is down from the 3.7% that it predicted only in April.

But all the good work that was done by the bulls on Wednesday was more than undone on Thursday by the bears. The benchmark index unravelled 335 points as the tussle between the bulls and the bears continue apace.

According to some experts, the Australian dollar could trade around S$1.10 in the next year. This could affect the profits of Singapore companies with operations in Australia. These might include Singapore Telecommunications (SGX: Z74), which owns Australia’s second-largest telecom company, Optus, and hotel operator Stamford Land (SGX: H07).

US$32b is the potential cost to the West African economy, if the Ebola epidemic is not brought swiftly under control. According to the World Bank, the cost could be limited to around US$359m this year, provided the outbreak is contained by the end of 2014. But in the worst case, it could deal a severe multi-billion blow to the economies of Liberia, Guinea and Sierra Leone.

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The information provided is for general information purposes only and is not intended to be personalised investment or financial advice. Motley Fool Singapore Director David Kuo doesn’t own shares in any companies mentioned.