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Editorial Desk
Editorial Desk | 16 March 2012
By: Xavier Lim
Articles (51) Profile

On the back of better-than-estimated economic data and expectations that Europe would tame its crisis, Wall Street capped its best start to a year since 1991. While the Nasdaq Composite Index closed above 3,000 for the first time in eleven years.

Nevertheless, investors are concerned that the rally has outpaced the global economic growth prospects, causing recent global stock markets to move sideways.

Meanwhile, the Federal Reserve left interest rates unchanged at record lows and continued to stockpile Treasury securities in an effort to further reduce borrowing costs for businesses and consumers. The central bank also expects moderate growth over coming quarters on the back of gradually declining unemployment rate.

In Europe, Fitch ratings upgraded Greece to out of “restricted default” rating following the debt write-down in a bond swap with private creditors, while German’s investors’ confidence rose more than expected.

Elsewhere, the Bank of Japan kept its monetary policy steady, with a rate in the 0 to 0.1 percent range, as expected by market watchers. The central bank also left its asset-purchase program at 65 trillion yen, citing improvement in the US economy and signs that Europe had stopped deteriorating. In addition, the central bank expanded a loan scheme targeting growth industries by 2 trillion yen to 5.5 trillion yen.

Nearer to home, Premier Wen Jiabao said that the government will not rollback any cooling housing measures. He warned that any rollback of these measures will lead to property bubble and in turn cause damage to the economy.

On the other hand, oil prices rose above US$106 a barrel as investors worried violent protests in North Africa and the Middle East will spread to Saudi Arabia. While much await as to the impact that the high oil prices would bring to the global economy, listed companies here such as transportation companies, in particular, have already started to feel the ‘pain’. Flip no further to page 8 as we observe the impacts that the high oil prices bring in our cover story.

In two weeks’ time, Shares Investment will be holding an investment conference at the DBS Building Tower 1, DBS Auditorium Level 3. Renowned financial experts Professor Chan Yan Chong and Gabriel Gan will be present at the event to share with participants their practical tips on investing as well as answer any investment queries.

If you have yet to act, get your ticket now as seats are running out fast. See you there!

Armed with an arsenal of investment knowledge, Xavier is the Senior Research Editor at Shares Investment.

Please click here for more information about this author.

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