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The Week Ahead: Sino-US Trade War Looms

The Singapore earnings season is over until July. More’s the pity because now we will have to suffer geopolitical posturing from the White House and elsewhere.

On the economic front, we should get the gory details of the third round of high-level trade talks between the US and China. It is looking increasingly likely that America will impose tariffs on Chinese imports.

However, the Chinese negotiators are hoping that the threat of tariffs is just an opening salvo from the White House to exact concessions. But that could be wishful thinking on their part.

Staying with China, the country will announce some PMI numbers for May. They are expected to show that the Chinese economy continues to expand. China will also announce its latest balance of trade. That could like a red rag to a bull, if the trade surplus with the US should continue to widen.

The Reserve Bank of India has an interest rate decision to make. In April, it kept its key policy rate unchanged at 6%. But it is possible that the central bank could hike rates next week, given that economic growth in the fourth quarter accelerated to 7.7%.

A hike could help stem the flight of rupee into US dollars. It could also help to keep a lid on inflation that has climbed above the central bank’s target rate of 4%.

And finally, Singapore will report private sector PMI numbers for May. In April, activity recorded its highest reading since June 2014, driven by new export orders.

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