The Week Ahead: Sino-US Trade Talks Resume

How exciting. It’s time for the first earnings season of 2019, when Singapore Press Holdings (SGX: T39) will fire the starting gun for Singapore’s blue chips.

In October, the media and property group said it was making good progress growing its property, digital portfolio and aged care business, including its recently-acquired assets in the student accommodation sector.

On the economic front, a US delegation will hold talks with China that are aimed at diffusing the trade war between the two countries. It will be the first face-to-face meeting since the two countries agreed not to impose new tariffs for 90 days.

US inflation numbers on Friday could provide important pointers on the pace of interest-rate increases. Both core inflation and headline inflation are expected to be unchanged at 2.2%.

China will report inflation numbers for December that are expected to be unchanged at 2.2% from the previous month. India is expected to say that December consumer prices rose 3.1% from a year ago. In November, the world’s largest democracy posted its lowest inflation rate since June 2017.

Meanwhile, Fed chair, Jerome Powell, is pencilled in for a discussion at the Economic Club of Washington. He could reiterate his view that the US economy is solid and that the central bank will be sensitive to the downside risks.

The UK will report year-on-year GDP numbers for November. The UK economy is expected to have expanded just 1.5% from a year ago.

And finally, Singapore is expected to say that retail sales in November improved 0.4% from a year ago. In October, sales rose at a softer pace for watches & jewellery, furniture & household equipment, and also for food retailers.

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