Next Weeks News Today: All To Be Revealed

With the first-quarter earnings season more or less out of the way, the market will now have to try to find something else to fret over, and no doubt it will.

It might have to wait until the end of the week before they really have something to sink their teeth into, though. On Friday America will report April inflation rates. The closely watched numbers could provide useful pointers as to when the US Federal Reserve might increase interest rates.

In March, the US Bureau of Statistics said prices fell an imperceptibly small 0.1% from the previous year. The month-on-month number was slightly better – prices rose 0.2%.

The core inflation rate, which strips out volatile price items, was an even more respectable +1.8%. But still, it is unlikely to convince the Federal Reserve that the time is right to pull the interest-rate trigger.

Some important numbers on Thursday might be eyed closely too, when the US Department of Labour will report jobless figures for May. The advance number of 265,000 announced earlier this month appeared to indicate that the US economy is continuing to add jobs. But the additions are probably not quite blistering enough to warrant an interest-rate hike.

Meanwhile, the Bank of Japan will announce its benchmark rate on Friday. The rate, which has been stuck at 0% for around four years, is likely to stay there for some time yet. Before that, though, the Japan Cabinet Office will post key economic growth numbers for the first three months of the year.

Low Japanese interest rates have benefitted stock market investors. Over the last three years, it has lifted the Nikkei 225 from around 9,000 points to 20,000. The Lyxor UCTIS ETF Japan (SGX: CW4), which tracks the broader Topix index has increased from around S$1.02 to about S$1.30.

And finally, would you like to take a peek at my portfolio of Singapore stocks. If so, do head over to Suntec Singapore on Saturday 23 May, when I will reveal how I make money from REITs at ShareInvestor’s REITs Symposium 2015.

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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.