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The Week Ahead: Look Out For DBS Group Results

It might be a holiday-shortened trading week in many markets around the world including Singapore but there is no shortage of economic and company news to keep investors on their toes.

The Fed will announce its latest interest-rate decision. It raised interest rates last month by 0.25% to 1% last month. It might be too soon to hike interest rates this month. The general consensus is that it will stand pat in April but another two hikes are on the cards for 2017.

It is time for those US Non-Farm Payroll numbers again. Last month’s number was a shocker. Experts were expecting an increase of 180,000 jobs. But only 98,000 jobs were created. It was the lowest number since May last year.

China will report those Purchasing Managers Indices again next week. Both the Manufacturing and Services indices have been comfortably above a ready of 50, of late. That should help sooth market nerves about China’s ability to grow.

The European Union will announce unemployment figures for March. The number of people out of work has been falling steadily. Last month it stood at 9.5%. However, the figure does not tell the whole story. In Greece, the unemployment rate was 23.1%, in Spain it was 18%, while in Portugal it was 10%.

On the corporate front, DBS Group (SGX: D05) is pencilled in for first-quarter results on Tuesday. Singapore’s largest bank posted its lowest quarterly profit in two years last time. But having kitchen-sinked its bad debts, the numbers might not look as bad for the first three months of its financial year.

There are three main strands to the Sembcorp Industry (SGX: U96) business. They are utilities, marine and urban development. On Wednesday we will find out how the industrial conglomerate fared in the first quarter. In February, it reported a 16% drop in quarterly revenues, though profits climbed thanks to a strong performance by utilities.

StarHub (SGX: CC3) was forced to cut its quarterly dividends for 2017, after it reported a 33% fall in quarterly net profits in February. Revenue was virtually flat for the final three months of the year. Singapore’s second-largest telecom company said it expects continuing pricing pressure in the broadband space. But there could be some uplift on the back of the 2G network shutdown.

And finally, Monday is Labour Day. If you are planning to drive to Malaysia, do allow plenty of time and don’t forget to bring a valid passport.

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