Spotlight on corporate earnings
CORPORATE earnings will be a focus for investors in view of the economic data releases in the week ahead.
Meanwhile, Bank Negara is expected to release its international reserves figures as at May 12 on Friday.
The international reserves of Bank Negara amounted to US$110.8bil (RM458bil) as at April 30. The reserves position is sufficient to finance 8.7 months of retained imports and is 1.3 times total short-term external debt.
SINGAPORE is expected to release the final print for its first quarter gross domestic product (GDP) this week.
Based on advance estimates, the republic’s economy grew by 0.2% year-on-year in the first quarter of 2021, a turnaround from the 2.4% contraction recorded in the previous quarter.
The latest Bloomberg median estimate suggested an improved reading of 0.9% year-on-year in the first quarter from the advance estimate of 0.2% year-on-year.
Meanwhile, the non-oil domestic exports (NODX) data for April is expected to be announced today.
UOB Global Economics & Markets Research expects a 2% growth month-on-month and a 12% year-on-year growth.
China loan rates
THE People’s Bank of China (PBoC) is expected to maintain its one-year and five-year loan prime rates (LPR) this week.
The one-yearLPR was last at 3.85%, and the five-year rate stood at 4.65%.
According to a Bloomberg poll, it is widely expected among economists for the one-year LPR and the five-year LPR fixings to be unchanged at 3.85% and 4.65% respectively.
The PBoC said there should be “no sudden-turn” of policy operations.
While loan growth is set to moderate this year, UOB expected the benchmark one-year LPR to stay flat at 3.85% for the rest of 2021.
Other data expected this week from China include industrial production, new home prices, and retail sales for April.
Bloomberg estimates a 10% year-on-year growth for April’s industrial production from 14.1% in March.
US FOMC minutes
THE minutes of the US Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC) meeting is expected to be released on May 20. The initial jobless claims data is also expected to be out on May 20.
The initial jobless claims in the US fell to 473,000 for the week ended May 8, a new low since the Covid-19 pandemic ravaged the labour market early last year.