The Week Ahead: Sembcorp Industries To Face The Music

Another crop of Straits Times Index (SGX: ^STI) will step into the fray next week.

The first to face the music will be Sembcorp Industries (SGX: U96), which reported a dismal set of figures last time out. In May, the industrial conglomerate posted a sharp fall in revenues and an even sharper drop in net profits. There could be more discomfort for the company after its subsidiary, Sembcorp Marine (SGX: S51), posted a 90% drop in profits.

Also on tap will be StarHub (SGX: CC3), which posted a small drop in revenues in May. However, profits were substantially higher at Singapore’s second-largest telecom operator, thanks to lower volume of subsidised handset sales.

Other companies that are due to report include CapitaLand (SGX: C31), UOL Group (SGX: U14) and Yangzijiang Shipbuilding Holdings (SGX: BS6). Genting Singapore (SGX: G13) will post quarterly numbers on Thursday. The integrated resort owner could provide some insight into the state of play of the tourism industry in Singapore.

A crop of American companies could set the tone for US market and stock markets elsewhere next week. These include pharma giant Pfizer, cereal company Kellogg and snacks producer Kraft Heinz. If you are interested in how China is performing at the ground level, look out for the quarterly report from consumer goods maker Procter & Gamble.

If you want to do it the official way, though, China will report its Manufacturing Purchasing Manager’s Index (PMI) for July on Monday and Services PMI on Wednesday. The latter has been comfortably above 50%, which would imply that that the consumer sector continues to enjoy good health.

It is time for those closely-watched Non-Farm Payroll numbers from the US again. In June they rose by 287,000, which was considerably more than analysts had predicted. Another set of bumper numbers could make it hard for the Fed to ignore the robustness of the US labour market.

And finally, the Bank of England has an uncomfortable interest-rate decision to make next week. Last month, the UK central bank kept interest on hold at 0.5%. The market had expected a rate cut of 0.25%.

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