The Week In Numbers: Possible Rate Rise In December

So now we know. The Federal Reserve has kept interest rates on hold between 0.25% and 0.5%. The decision to hold rates was far from cut and dried, though. Three members of the rate-setting committee voted against the decision. But the Fed said that the case for an increase in the federal fund rate has strengthened.

The Bank of Japan also kept interest rates on hold this week. It has maintained the negative 0.1% interest rate for excess funds that financial institutions leave with the central bank. But it said it will keep long-term government bonds at around 0%.

The stockpile of oil in the US fell again this week. The surprise drawdown in oil sent oil prices 3% higher to US$45.34. The price of oil also benefitted from a fall in the dollar, after the US Fed decided not to raise interest rates.

The Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) reckons that global economic growth could slow from 3.1% last year to 2.9% this year. It said the world economy is stuck in a “low-growth trap” with poor growth expectations, depressing trade, investment, productivity and wages.

The Vietnamese government is expected to sell a small stake in its state-owned milk producer, Vietnam Dairy Products Joint Stock Company. The 10% stake in the company, which is better known as Vinamilk, is expected to fetch around US$900 million. Fraser and Neave (SGX: F99), which already owns a stake in the dairy company through F&N Dairy Investments Pte. Ltd., could be one of the interested parties.

And finally, 26 banks stand to share US$118.4 million through the flotation of China’s state-owned Postal Savings Bank. The Initial Public Offering (IPO) in Hong Kong is the world biggest since Alibaba went public in 2014 for US$25 billion.

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