Next Week’s News Today: Steady As She Goes

How much will Janet Yellen reveal when the US Federal Reserve announces its latest rate decision on Thursday? There are now increasing signs that the US economy is improving.

Following some encouraging retail sales figures for May, a number of recent reports appear to suggest that the US economy could expand by as much as 1.9% in the second quarter. That might be enough to persuade the rate-setting committee to hike rates for the first time in seven years.

Japan is set to announce its interest-rate decision next week too. It would indeed be a surprise if Japan did anything other than keep interest rates on hold. The Bank of Japan has pledged to continue buying government bonds to encourage economic growth by pushing down the cost of borrowing and push up inflation. So, it could be a case of steady as she goes for Japan.

But it has been more than a case of steady as she goes for the Japanese market, though. In the last twelve months, the Lyxor UCITS ETF Japan (SGX: CW4), which tracks the Topix, has climbed 8%.

What was the thinking behind Australia’s decision to keep interest rates on hold at its meeting earlier this month? Does the central bank believe that rising property values is a price worth paying for spurring economic growth? We could find out more on Tuesday when the Reserve Bank of Australia releases the minutes of its latest meeting.

At home, Singapore is set to announce a raft of numbers that could provide some useful pointers to the economic health of the Garden City. Singapore is a past master at exporting high-value added products. More of the same is expected this time around, when it reports its latest balance of trade numbers.

And finally, if you aren’t already tired of hearing about Greece, there is more on tap next week. Depending on which newspaper you read, Greece could either be reaching the end of the road or that it has found another route to circumnavigate its financial malaise. It could be crunch-time for Greece when EU finance ministers gather to discuss Greece’s future in the Eurozone. But how often have we heard that.

The Motley Fool's purpose is to help the world invest, better. Click here now for your FREE subscription to Take Stock - Singapore, The Motley Fool's free investing newsletter. Written by David Kuo, Take Stock - Singapore tells you exactly what's happening in today's markets, and shows how you can GROW your wealth in the years ahead.

Like us on Facebook to keep up to date with our latest news and articles. The Motley Fool's purpose is to help the world invest, better.

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.