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With inflation believed to have reached a peak in several economies across the globe including Malaysia's, and a trending down in interest rates, consumers could feel more encouraged to increase their spending and investments.
The outlook for the local equities market in the fourth quarter appears neutral, with more excitement expected only in 2007, analysts and fund managers say.
Standard Chartered Bank (StanChart) expects Bank Negara to cut its key interest rate, or overnight policy rate (OPR), by 25 basis points in the third quarter of next year.
The European Central Bank left interest rates unchanged, with poor fourth-quarter growth data and declining business confidence heightening worries about the strength of the economy.
THE incentives and measures in Budget 2005 are likely to focus on four key areas - fiscal consolidation, enhancing business competitiveness and increasing domestic investment, promoting and developing new sources of growth and capital market expansion.
Despite the cautious outlook taken by fund managers on the performance of the stock market for the second half of the year, unit trust management companies are still bullish on the prospects of the mutual fund industryfor the remaining year. i>StarBiz/ijournalist DALJIT DHESI spoke to some of the leading unit trust managers to get their views on various topics as well their companies'strategies for this year.