The Week Ahead: A Brand New Year

It might take the markets a week or two to return to normal following the protracted festive break. But economic data, like time and tide, waits for no one.

Singapore kicks off the economic calendar on Monday with advanced economic growth figures for the fourth quarter. The Garden City grew 1.9% between July and September, thanks to a strong performance by the services sector. Manufacturing and construction remained in the doldrums, though.

Continued weakness in the Singapore construction sector could be laid bare when the Urban Redevelopment Authority (URA) reports preliminary Residential Property Prices for the fourth quarter. The index for residential property prices has been on the decline since January 2014. Stocks that include City Development (SGX: C09) could be in focus.

Elsewhere in Singapore, close attention could be paid to the manufacturing sector, which has been in contraction for five straight months, when the SIPMM reports the latest Manufacturing PMI numbers.

By contrast, manufacturing in the US, whilst weak, has still been expanding, according to the Flash numbers from Markit. Manufacturing in Japan is also expanding according to the Nikkei Flash PMI numbers. The figure, which is compiled from 400 industrial companies, showed that output and new orders remained robust.

Unsurprisingly, China’s manufacturing sector is still in contraction as the country moves away from a reliance on exports to consumer spending. China will also report services numbers next week. The data, which is compiled from 400 private service sector companies, has never been below 50 index points since July 2014. A reading above 50 points indicates expansion.

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