The Week In Numbers: All-Time High

America’s tech-heavy stock market index, the Nasdaq Composite, is just 12 points away from a 5,000 points milestone. It is also within striking distance – just 60 points – of its all-time high of 5,048 points.

Meanwhile, Tokyo’s benchmark index, the Nikkei 225, hit a 15-year peak. The strength of Japanese shares has been attributed to weakness in the yen against the US dollar. Investors believe that continued monetary easing by Japan’s could help exporters boost bottom-line profits.

Interest rates are on the rise in Singapore. Our three-month interbank offered rate, otherwise known as SIBOR, climbed to a high of 0.734% this week.

It has almost double since the same time last year. Earlier in the week, the US Federal Reserve chair, Janet Yellen, provided scant clues as to when American interest rates might rise. Yellen merely said the Federal Reserve would consider rate hikes on a “meeting by meeting” basis.

Singapore Airlines (SGX: C6L) has slipped one place to number 19 on Fortune magazine’s list of the world’s most admired companies, in which Apple leads the table. The top 13 places are dominated by American companies that include Google, Starbucks, Walt Disney and Warren Buffett’s investment vehicle Berkshire Hathaway.

Singapore consumers, it appears, are feeling less confident. A gauge of consumer sentiment fell 2.1% to 120.7 points in February. But that’s not all. Only one in three people believe that their personal finances are better now compared to a year ago. One in ten thinks that they are worse off.

And there’s even more disappointing news for retailers. Only one in five believe that now is a good time to buy major household items.

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