Next Week’s News Today – More Money On Tap?

Markets are closed in many parts of Europe on Monday.  These include Germany, the United Kingdom, Italy and Switzerland. The stock markets in Australia and New Zealand will also be shut on Easter Monday.

There have been rumours that a rift is emerging between Japan’s Prime Minister, Shinzo Abe, and the Bank of Japan governor, Haruhiko Kuroda. The difference of opinion is said to centre on Japan’s need to cut its public debt, which stands at more than twice the size of the country’s annual economic output.

The Bank of Japan is pencilled in for a Policy Statement on Wednesday. Apart from providing information about how the interest-rate setting committee voted in their last meeting, the Policy Statement could also be closely watched for clue about future monetary policy. Who will blink first – Kuroda or Abe?

India has an interest-rate decision on Tuesday. The Reserve Bank of India started cutting interest rates in December last year. Since then it has slashed the cost of borrowing twice. It now stands at 7.5%. The bank claims that disinflation has happened at a faster pace than forecast. So, more cuts could be on the way if it believes that consumer prices are nor rising fast enough.

Australia is pencilled in for an interest-rate decision also. The bank cut interest rates to a record low of 2.25% last month. It indicated that more easing could occur in coming meetings. This could put Singapore companies with Australian exposure, such as Singapore Telecommunications (SGX: Z74) into focus.

Tuesday looks like being a busy day because the Monetary Authority of Singapore will step into the spotlight too. It is expected to reveal the size of the country’s foreign reserves. In February, the reserves stood at S$340.9b, which was slightly higher than the previous month’s total of S$340.3. The size of the nation’s coffers are, however, down from an all-time of S$347.1b, which was reached in January 2014.

Look out on Friday for China’s inflation numbers. On tap will be the National Bureau of Statistics’ Consumer Prices Index (CPI) and Producer Prices Index (PPI). Both numbers have been uncharacteristically weak, which could suggest that China could still have room to ease monetary policy further.

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