The Week Ahead: Black Friday

The US Fed will produce the minutes of its latest interest-rate meeting on Thursday. At the monthly chinwag, it left the federal fund rate unchanged at between 1% and 1.25%. It focussed on the state of the labour market, which it said had continued to strengthen. It was also encouraged by the economic activity. So, it looks as though a rate hike in December is very likely.

Japan will report some key trade data on Monday morning. Both imports and exports have been robust, which would suggest that economic activity in the Land of the Rising Sun is healthy.

Inflation in Hong Kong has been subdued this year. On Tuesday, it is expected to say that inflation could be 1.6%, which is higher than the previous month, but below the long-term inflation rate of around 4%.

Malaysia will also report inflation numbers. It is expected to say that consumer prices increased 4.3% year on year. In September, inflation was driven by a faster rise in the cost of food, transport and housing cost.

Thailand will report third-quarter GDP numbers on Monday. In the second quarter, its economy expanded 3.7%, which was above market expectations. It was also the strongest quarterly expansion since the first quarter of 2013. Growth was driven by higher exports, tourism and retail sales.

Singapore will announce the final read of its GDP growth rate for the third quarter. In its earlier read, the economy expanded 4.6% in the third quarter year on year. That was up from 2.9% in the second quarter. Growth was helped by a sharp acceleration in manufacturing.

And finally, Thursday is Thanksgiving, so the US markets will be shut. The markets should open the following day, Black Friday, but they will close early at 1pm.


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