Next Week’s News Today: Why Did The Fed Keep Rates Unchanged?

We will have wait another couple of weeks before we get to enjoy (or should that be endure) another round of earnings from Singapore companies. The first company to report should be Singapore Press Holdings (SGX: T39). But before that there should plenty of stuff going on to keep trigger-happy traders on their toes.

China will lift the lid on the health of its services sector next week. The Caixin Services Purchasing Managers Index could show continued expansion for the sector. The data, which is compiled from 400 private services sector companies, has been indicating that activity is still expanding, albeit less robustly than in the past.

China also has some trade data to report at the end of next week. The export numbers freaked out the market last month. Exports slumped by almost a quarter in February, which was the sharpest drop since 2009. The import numbers were not exactly reassuring, either. They slumped 13.8%.

But while China is busy licking its wounds, the US appears to be going from strength to strength. The latest non-farm payroll for March suggests that employment gains remains strong and unemployment rate remains low at around 5%.

The minutes of the latest FOMC meeting should make for interesting reading. Why, for instance, did the rate-setting committee lower their estimates for both GDP growth and inflation this year? And why did it decide to keep interest rates unchanged at between 0.25% and 0.5%, when the economic signs look good.

And finally, Singapore reports on the state of its foreign reserves on Monday. Last month, the Monetary Authority of Singapore said the country’s foreign reserves stood at US$244.86, compared to US$244.86 billion in January.

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