The Week Ahead: Big Day For Singapore Exchange

The Singapore earnings season is still in first gear as another Straits Times Index (SGX: ^STI) company steps into the spotlight.

That company is Singapore Exchange (SGX: S68), which will report second-quarter numbers at the end of the week. In the first quarter, the bourse operator posted a 9% jump in net profits, and operating revenue that increased 7%. The total value of securities traded during the quarter was $73.2 billion, which equated to a daily average traded value of $1.16 billion.

On the economic front, the US will report capacity utilisation numbers, which could provide some insight into the outlook for inflation. Shortly after the financial crisis, capacity utilisation fell to 66.7%, which was an all-time low. It has risen steadily since. In November, it stood at 77.1%.

In terms of CPI, US consumers said they expected the rate of inflation to be around 2.6% over the coming year. This is higher than the actual inflation rate currently, which stands at 2.2%.

China will report GDP growth rate for the fourth quarter for 2017. Experts reckons that it could come in at 6.8%, which would be unchanged from the previous quarter. There are tangible signs that growth of the Chinese economy is slowing, as the country continues with its structural rebalancing.

China will also report retail sales number for December. Last month, China said they increased 10.2%, after a 10% rise the previous month. China’s Premier Li Keqiang reckoned it could be 6.9%. Who would dare argue with that. Among the fastest growing sectors in November were telecoms and cosmetics.

The UK will report inflation figures for December. The increase in the Consumer Prices Index is expected to be around 3% year-on-year. Last time it was 3.1% because of rising prices for transport, leisure activities, housing and food.

The Central Bank of Malaysia will announce its latest interest-rate decision on Friday. The Bank has left interest rates unchanged since mid-2016, which is slightly below the rate of inflation of 3.4%. Malaysia will report inflation numbers on the same day.

And finally, Monday is Martin Luther King Jr. Day on Monday. So US markets will be closed.

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