The Week In Numbers: Singapore Airlines Flying On Cheap Oil

Try telling Singapore Airlines (SGX: C6L) that low oil prices are a bad thing. The award-winning Singapore flag carrier posted a 36% jump in third-quarter profits, thanks to plunging oil prices. Currently, oil prices are hovering around US$30 a barrel. But some “experts” believe that the price of oil could be substantially higher by the end of the year. Enjoy it whilst you can.

It has been a topsy-turvy week for the Straits Times Index (SGX: ^STI). The benchmark index started the trading week at 2,629 points, it then plunged to a low of 2,528 points on Wednesday, before staging a late rally on Friday to close just 6 points lower. Sensible investors could have picked up some real bargain during the week. But as Peter Lynch once pointed out, everyone has the brain power to make money from shares but not everyone has the stomach to do so.

The city scribblers are whipping out their slide-rules to work out which of seven stock market listed assets Keppel Corporation (SGX: BN4) might have to sell. These include telecom operator M1 (SGX: B2F), oil and gas explorer KrisEnergy (SGX: SK3) and Keppel DC REIT (SGX: AJBU). But who says they need to sell any of them. There is more than one way to skin a cat.

So some economists believe that slow economic growth is here to stay. Maybe it is, maybe it isn’t. Cheap and easy money has allowed some companies to invest in project that offer only meagre returns. But these economists seem to be missing one important factor – China. Chinese consumers spent US$5 trillion on consumer goods in 2015. So let’s start making things that people want to buy, rather than making things you want to make. It’s so simple.

And finally America added 151,000 jobs in January. The unemployment rate in the US is now down to 4.9%. Is that good or is that bad? The answer is it depends on who you ask. It means that the US is recovering steadily, which should be a reason to rejoice. But those who are wedded to, and want to remain wedded to, low interest rates then the job numbers could prompt the US to hike rates again. You pays your money, you makes your choice.

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