The Week Ahead: Singapore Banks In Focus

President Trump will return to America after a whistle-stop tour of the Middle East and Europe. He will return to face ongoing questions over his administration’s relationship with Russia and the reasons behind his abrupt sacking of FBI chief James Comey.

President Trump will also have to defend his Budget, which has been criticised for containing “egregious” maths errors.

Staying with the US, it’s time for those Non-farm Payroll numbers again. In April, 211,000 jobs were created, which was higher than market expectations. The US will also report unemployment rate for May. It fell from 4.5% to 4.4% in April, which is lower than the long-term average of 5.8%.

China will announce those closely-watched Purchasing Managers Indices next week. Both the manufacturing and services indices have been above a reading of 50, which would suggest that the Chinese economy is still expanding.

Japan will report household spending for April. The provisional GDP for the first quarter appeared to show that the Japanese economy expanded at an annual rate of 2.2%. There was an assuring improvement in private consumption after stagnating in the final quarter of last year.

India will report first-quarter GDP numbers. In the last three months of 2016, the economy expanded 7%, which was slower than the 7.4% in the previous quarter. The expansion was driven by a surge in public spending.

Singapore will report bank lending figures for April. Loans increased to S$627.9 billion in March from the month before. Consumers borrowed more, as did some businesses. But loans to the building and construction sector fell.

Watch out for reaction to the data from Singapore’s three listed banks, namely, DBS Group (SGX: D05), Oversea-Chinese Banking Corporation (SGX: O39) and United Overseas Bank (SGX: U11).

And finally, Monday 28 May is a Public Holiday in the US and the UK. So don’t be too surprised if the markets are a little quiet over here in Asia.

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