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Next Week’s News Today: 15-Year High

It is Vesak Day on Monday. So it will be another holiday-shortened trading week for the Singapore market.

But there won’t be much time for navel-gazing for the people of Indonesian, when they get to digest the latest inflation figures on the first day of the business week. Unlike many other parts of the world that are suffering from unwelcome falling prices, Indonesia actually wants lower inflation to boost competitiveness.

Last month the rate of inflation accelerated to 6.89%, which, whilst lower than the long-term average, is still too high, according to Indonesia’s central bank.

There are also inflation numbers next week from Germany, which has been depressingly low. Meanwhile, South Korea’s inflation has been falling like a stone, and Thailand’s inflation has dropped off a cliff. The Eurozone has non-existent inflation but in Russia, consumer prices have been going up like a rocket.

If you have investments in Japan, then Haruhiko Kuroda’s speech on monetary policy at the central bank’s conference on Thursday could be worth listening to. The Bank of Japan governor recently said he has not seen any asset or stock market bubbles. But he will monitor the financial systems, carefully.

Elsewhere, the Bank of England has to decide what it wants to do with interest rates on Thursday, following news that inflation turned negative last month. The central bank said inflation could stay very low over the next few months. But it still believes that inflation should pick up by the end of the year.

Nevertheless, the Japanese stock market benchmark recently climbed to a 15-year high of 20,563 points following 11 unbroken days of gains. It has lifted the Lyxor ETF Japan (SGX: CW4), which tracks the Topix index, to a high of 1.33.

Friday 5 June should be deadline day for Greece, unless someone decides to move the cut-off date. On that day, the Mediterranean nation will have to make its next payment to the International Monetary Fund. The cash-strapped country has to find €300m, which is the first of four instalments due in June.

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