Next Week’s News Today: It’s A Brand New Year

It is another holiday-shortened trading week next week, as Christmas celebrations roll into New Year carousing. Most major markets around the world will be closed on Friday for News Year’s Day, apart from China. Some markets will be closed on Monday for Boxing Day and shut on Thursday for New Year’s Eve too.

Despite the festive celebrations a raft of economic news should help keep the bean counters out of mischief. Japan kicks of the week with some key Retail Sales numbers for November on Monday. Over the last six months, retail sales have been pedestrian at best, though they did surprise on the upside in November.

Elsewhere in the Land of the Rising Sun, Japan’s Ministry of Economy & Trade will report the latest November Industrial Production numbers. After two set of positive production numbers, the market will be hoping for another crop of encouraging figures, as evidence that Abenomics is working.

Staying in the East, China will report on the health of its manufacturing sector on Friday. Over the last four months, the Purchasing Managers Index has come in below 50, which suggests shrinkage. It will be interesting to see if the raft of stimulus measure by Chinese authorities is having any effect.

On the other side of the world, the number of Americans filing for unemployment benefits could be closely eyed. The initial jobless claims figures can have an impact on market sentiment because it measures new and emerging unemployment rather than continuing claims.

And finally, Singapore bank lending, which is a measure of business and consumer confidence in the Garden City, will be on show on Thursday. Interestingly, loans by banks have remained robust, given that the economic growth in Singapore has slowed sharply. That should be good news for Singapore’s three big lenders, namely, DBS Group (SGX: D05), OCBC (SGX: O39) and UOB (SGX: U11).

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