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Uncertainty Looms Amid Weaker Global Performance
By: Peter Ng
Articles (81) Profile

All eyes are placed on the US market amid an economic conference sponsored by the US Federal Reserve to be held at Jackson Hole on 21 August, as market participants await the outcome of the meeting for signals of a sooner-than-expected interest rate hike. This was in tandem with improvements in the labour market, as the country’s unemployment rate has fell continuously from 6.7% in February to 6.2% in July.

Shifting to Europe, Greece reported its 2Q14 gross domestic product (GDP) which declined 0.2% between April and June compared to the corresponding period last year, beating median estimate of a 0.5% contraction according to a Bloomberg survey. The better-than-anticipated results which were mainly driven by a rebound in economic sentiment and tourism activities, are fuelling signs that the Greek economy is poised to exit from a more than 5-year long debt crisis since 2009.

Opposing to Greece’s encouraging scorecard, Japan posted a 6.8% annualised drop in GDP for the second quarter which lasted 3 months till June, according to preliminary data published by the Japanese government on 13 August. While still shy from a 7% contraction based on consensus forecast by economists, the decline was largely attributed to a rise in consumption tax from 5% to 8%.

Meanwhile on local grounds, following a depressed 2Q14 GDP, Singapore’s non-oil domestic exports in July extended its decline to 3.3% from 4.6% in June, stemmed from a decline in both electronic and non-electronic exports. The poorer performance has led analysts to retain a cautious outlook on Singapore’s export for the rest of 2014. On a broader scale, the Straits Times Index remained flat at 3,325.50 points within a two-week period.

Backed by a strong interest in investments, Peter's research spans across a range of industries, with his focus placed on companies listed on the SGX.

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