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Rosy US Picture Not Shared In Asia
By: Shane Goh
Articles (99) Profile

In line with its prior cuts, the US Federal Reserve continued the reduction of its Quantitative Easing programme, by a further US$10b, to US$35b. At the same time, the Fed raised its forecast for interest rates at the end of 2015 closer to 1.25%, up from its 1% estimate in Mar-14. In particular, non-farm payrolls, a key indicator of economic activity, gained more than 200k for the fourth month in a row in May.

However, the rosy picture was not shared in Asia. China’s new foreign direct investment fell the most since Jan-13 in the month of May. The country attracted US$8.6b, down 6.7% y-o-y, hurt partly by its cooling economy. China’s quarterly growth slowed to a 24-year low of 7.4% in 1Q14, below the full-year official growth target of 7.5%.

On local shores, Singapore’s May manufacturing output contracted 2.5% y-o-y, the fastest annual decline in 11 months. A Reuters poll had expected a 2.6% y-o-y expansion instead. Weak shipments of electronics and pharmaceuticals to key markets contributed to the fall, reflecting recent feeble external demand.

Within the bourse, Sunningdale Tech was the big winner over the past 2 weeks as its share price surged 23.6% to close at $0.215. The jump was a result of a private placement of 153m shares at $0.1633 apiece to Yarwood Engineering & Trading and Sam Goi Seng Hui in equal parts. However, Sunningdale has not provided any guidance on the specific utilisation the proceeds.

The broader Straits Times Index was little changed over the same period as it fell 0.7%, or 22.2 points, to close at 3,271.05.

Currently pursuing his Chartered Financial Analyst qualification, Shane provides coverage on the property, consumer and environmental sectors at Shares Investment.

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