The Week Ahead: Watch Singapore Banks

It’s Christmas Day on Monday. So, for one day, at least, we can put away our spreadsheets and dispense with checking our portfolios every few hours.

Tuesday is Boxing Day, which means that many markets are also closed. So that should make it two days, when we don’t have to monitor how our shares are doing.

The rest of the week is fairly quiet on the economics front. There are some weekly US unemployment numbers on Thursday, though. In the week ended 16 December, 245,000 people filed for unemployment benefit. The number is expected to be slightly lower for the week ending 23 December.

China will report its latest Purchasing Manager’s Indices on New Year’s Eve. They are expected to show that both manufacturing and non-manufacturing sectors have still been expanding.

Japan will post inflation numbers for November. In October, consumer prices rose 0.2% year-on-year, following a 0.7% increase in the previous two months. The fall in the rate of inflation was attributed to lower food prices. Inflation is expected to pick up in November, with economists expecting a 0.8% rise.

Vietnam is on the hook for inflation numbers too. In November, consumer prices rose 2.6%, which is lowest inflation rate since July. Inflation is expected to rise to 3.8% in December.

Vietnam will also report fourth-quarter GDP numbers. For the fourth quarter of 2017, the Vietnam economy is forecast to have expanded 6.6%, which is slightly slower than in the third quarter. Growth in three months to September was driven by manufacturing and exports.

And finally, Singapore will report bank lending at the end of the week. In October, bank loans increased to S$649.6 billion, with growth in lending to both businesses and consumers. For November, banks are forecast to have lent slightly less, S$637 billion. Singapore’s three quoted banks, namely, DBS Group (SGX: D05), OCBC (SGX: O39) and UOB (SGX: U11), could be in focus.

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The information provided is for general information purposes only and is not intended to be personalised investment or financial advice. Motley Fool Singapore Director David Kuo doesn’t own shares in any companies mentioned. The Motley Fool has recommended DBS Group and UOB.