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Straits Times 3,169.89 +9.17 +0.29%
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Dow Jones 25,585.69 +95.22 +0.37%
Shanghai Composite 2,852.99 +0.48 +0.02%
Uncertainty: Flavour Of The Fortnight
By: Ong Qiuying
Articles (131) Profile

Markets have been swinging back and forth on the words of the global leaders as well as economic data hits and misses. Uncertainty looms ahead as investors continue the guessing game of when the quantitative easing will end.

While the markets had much to cheer when Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke opened the door to a delay in reducing the central bank’s bond buying programme depending on economic and financial developments, expectations have been on the rise for a tapering in September from US$85b to US$60b, reported Bloomberg. Nonetheless, with some strong earnings results and upbeat economic data, the Dow was seen hitting a record high of 15,567.74 on 23 Jul-13 while the Standard & Poor’s 500 traded near the 1,700 mark.

Elsewhere, concerns over the slowdown of the world’s second largest economy deepened as the HSBC flash China purchasing managers’ index fell to an 11-month low of 47.7 in July from the final reading of 48.2 in June. The slowdown in the manufacturing sector is also leading the unemployment sub-index to fall to a 52-month low of 47.3. However, Asian bourses were lifted after China Premier Li Keqiang maintained 7% as the bottom line for China’s economic growth. Helping to support confidence, the State Council also announced new measures as fresh stimulus.

Locally, Monetary Authority of Singapore announced that the city’s growth will be stronger this year and should meet growth forecast of 1-3% while revising the inflation lower to 2-3% from 3-4% this year.

Meanwhile, a slew of IPO listings have hogged the spotlight. SPH REIT gained 9.5% to close at $0.985 while OUE Hospitality Trust closed flat at $0.88 on their trading debuts.

All eyes will likely continue to be on the corporate earnings season, with blue-chips such as DBS Group, Sembcorp Marine and OCBC releasing their results in the coming week.

Qiuying oversees the construction and real estate investment trusts sectors at Shares Investment.

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