Next Week’s News Today: Keppel Corporation Opens Its Books

The earnings season continues on its merry way with another batch of Straits Times Index (SGX: ^STI) set to open their books.

The numbers from Keppel Corporation (SGX: BN4) on Monday could be closely eyed, given the interest in the current state of the oil and gas sector. Shares in the Singapore conglomerate rose around 6% this week ahead of the results, which could suggest that that market might be hopeful that the report card may not be as bad as pessimists have suggested.

Also on tap next week will be CapitaLand (SGX: C31), which also made some headway ahead of its quarterly figures on Wednesday. Last time out, the property developer posted a sharp fall in profits. That was due to the absence of gains from the sale of an office in the previous year.

Other blue chips with results are Hutchison Port Holdings Trust (SGX: NS8U) and Singapore Exchange (SGX: S68), while a crop of Real Estate Investment Trusts are pencilled in for quarterly figures too. These include Mapletree Logistics Trust (SGX: M44U), Suntec REIT (SGX: T82U) and Ascendas REIT (SGX: A17U).

While earnings are likely to be the focus of attention next week, the market could also be keeping one eye on economic matters.

One area of attention could be the outcome of a meeting of oil producers this weekend in Doha. Opinions differ as to whether the Organisation of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) will come to a consensus to freeze production levels in order to stabilise prices.

Elsewhere, the European Central Bank will announce its latest decision on interest rates. The bank surprised the market last month by cutting its benchmark refinancing rate by 0.5% to zero. It also stepped up its asset purchase program by €20 billion to €80 billion and cut the deposit facility rate to below zero.

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