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Robust US Jobs Card; May Adage May Come Through
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By: Nicholas Tan
Articles (71) Profile

Signs of the world’s largest economy making progress towards the US Federal Reserve’s long-term unemployment and inflation targets of 6.5% and 2% respectively, is taking shape as the fewest number of Americans in 7 years filed applications for unemployment benefits and the cost of living rose in Apr.

The number of applications for unemployment insurance claims dropped by 24,000 to 297,000, the least since May-07, in the first week of May, beating economists’ median estimate of 320,000, based on a Bloomberg survey.

US inflation rose by the most in 10 months on the back of the stronger job card. The consumer price index increased 0.3% last month, which was the biggest gain since Jun-13. The rise in consumer prices brings the Fed nearer to its inflation gauge. The inflation rate climbed to 1.1% in the 12 months through Mar. The Apr report is due 30 May.

In Singapore, retail sales slipped 3.9% y-o-y in Mar, according to data from the Department of Statistics. However, excluding motor vehicle sales, which fell 19.3% y-o-y, retail sales still experienced a slight contraction, edging down 0.4%.

Unlike the retail sector, the oil and gas sector seems to be faring better. Nam Cheong and Pacific Radiance, 2 companies exposed to the offshore oil and gas sector, both reported stronger 1Q14 earnings mainly due to increased investments by oil majors, thus causing an increased demand in OSVs.

Despite the stronger financial performances from Singapore corporates, it may seem that as we head towards the second half of May, the “Sell in May and go away” adage may still hold as the benchmark STI has been flat for the past 2 weeks.

Well trained in aspects of finance and business, Nicholas oversees the finance and manufacturing sectors at Shares Investment.

Please click here for more information about this author.

Nam Cheong  0.007 -0.001 -12.50%   
Business: An offshore marine group specialising in the building of offshore support vessels. [FY18 Turnover] Shipbuilding (59.2%), vessel chartering (40.8%).

Insight: May-19, 1Q19 revenue jumped multiple times to RM29... Read More
Pacific Radiance  -- -- --   
Business: Co is a provider of offshore support solutions with a fleet of more than 130 vessels. [FY17 Turnover] Offshore support services business (62.4%), subsea business (27.8%), complementary business (9.8%).

Insight: Nov-18, 9M18 revenue fell 5.7% to US$45.9m mainly ... Read More


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