The Week In Numbers: 3 Rate Hikes This Year?

The UK Prime Minister, Theresa May, has set an ambitious 12-goal plan for ties with the European Union after Brexit. The PM wants a clean break from Europe rather than some “partial” membership.

As part of the deal, she wants an agreement that will allow for the freest possible trade in goods and services between Britain and the EU states. What she wants and what she gets are two very different things.

Two big global banks are not convinced by May’s rhetoric, though. HSBC and UBS are to shift 1,000 jobs each from London to Paris. HSBC boss said the job move accounts for around a-fifth of its revenue across the Channel.

Chinese President Xi Jing Ping cautioned against protectionism in his speech at the World Economic Forum in Davos. Xi said protectionism is like locking yourself in a dark room, which would seem to escape wind and rain but also block out the sunshine. He also called on leaders to address the problem of the growing wealth gap. The ticket price to attend Davos is $71,000 per person.

It seems that Fed watchers think that Janet Yellen wants three rate hikes this year. Many investors think that there could only be two hikes in 2017. But Yellen is on record as saying that the US economy faced no serious short-term obstacles. In other words, she might be comfortable with a faster pace of monetary tightening.

Could be just what the good doctor ordered for our local banks. Keep an eye on DBS Group (SGX: D05), UOB (SGX: U11) and OCBC (SGX: O39).

And finally, world temperatures hit a record high for the third year in a row. Average surface temperatures over land the oceans were 0.94 degrees Celsius above the 20th-century average of 13.9 degrees Celsius.

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