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The Week Ahead: Hang Onto Your Hats

Singapore’s fourth-quarter earnings season kicks off with Singapore Press Holdings (SGX: T39) stepping into the spotlight on Monday.

In July, the publisher of The Straits Times said third-quarter profits jumped 64% to S$47 million. This was thanks to lower impairment charges that boosted operating profits. Meanwhile, SPH is focussing on acquiring cash-yielding real estate assets overseas.

SPH is also teaming up with Keppel Corporation (SGX: BN4), which also reports earnings next week, to buy Singapore’s smallest telecom company M1 (SGX: B2F). Keppel said in July that stronger earnings from its property and infrastructure divisions pushed up second-quarter profits by 44%. The industrial conglomerate added that the recent rise in oil prices has prompted growing optimism in the Offshore & Marine industry.

Singapore Exchange (SGX: S68) is pencilled in for quarterly numbers. The bourse operator reported a dip in profits for the fourth quarter. This was largely due to a jump in operating expenses because of legal fees incurred brought about by the interim injunction filed by the National Stock Exchange of India over derivatives trading.

On the economic front, US retail sales for September should provide some insights into the strength of the world’s largest economy. These are expected to show growth of around 5.2%, which would be slower than a year ago.

The FOMC minutes of the September interest-rate meeting could give some clues as to how many more rate hikes are in store. As it stands, policymakers see one more increase this year, three next year and just one in 2020.

China will report GDP numbers for the third quarter of 2018. This is expected to show a slight slowdown from 6.7% to 6.6%. The world’s second-largest economy will also report inflation numbers for September, which is expected to be unchanged at 2.3%. China could also announce a slight slowdown in September retail sales growth from 9% last year to 8.5% this time.

India’s inflation rate is also on the agenda next week. In August, wholesale prices rose by 4.5% year on year. It was the slowest rise since April as cost of fuel increased at a softer pace and food prices declined.

And finally, the earnings season in the US picks up speed next week with some potentially market-moving results from Bank of America (NYSE: BAC), Morgan Stanley (NYSE: MS), Johnson & Johnson (NYSE: JNJ), American Express (NYSE: AXP) and Procter & Gamble (NYSE: PG). Tech favourite Netflix (Nasdaq: NFLX) will also post quarter results. Hang onto your hats!

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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.