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Fed Rates Unchanged, Singapore NODX Rebounds
By: Joey Ho
Articles (30) Profile

The Federal Reserve (Fed) held rates steady during the June Federal Open Market Committee meeting. The Fed commented that a sharp slowdown in U.S. hiring in May added to doubts on the strength of the labour market.

Fed Chair Janet Yellen acknowledged the need to see clear signs of economic strength before lifting rates while the looming Brexit was cited by Fed watchers as a key reason for the latest rate decision. The June session ended with six of its 17 policymakers indicating that the year would end with only one rate hike, up from just one member at the April meeting.

Despite Fed rates unchanged, stock indices posted weekly losses as Brexit fears loom. The hot topic of Brexit took the headlines following the fatal attack on British Labour Party politician, Jo Cox, who supported the Remain campaign in the Brexit referendum. The attack, which stalled Brexit campaigns, fuelled speculations that there could be a delay in the referendum which is set for next week.

Asian markets opened higher on Friday as investors expect the attack to work against the Brexit vote. The Straits Times Index jumped 0.7 percent on opening before slumping down in late morning trading, ending the week at 2,763.42. Similarly the Hang Seng Index opened one percent higher before moving downwards to end the week at 20,169.98. Since 6 June 2016, the Straits Times Index and the Hang Seng Index lost 2.4 percent and 4.7 percent respectively.

Back home in Singapore, according to latest figures released by International Enterprise Singapore, exports posted a surprising rebound in May as the expansion in non-electronic non-oil domestic exports (NODX) offset the drop in electronic NODX.

NODX recovered 11.6 percent in May, reversing a 7.9 percent decline in April, with the United States, Taiwan and Malaysia contributing the most to the spike.

Overall, exports of non-electronic products surged 19 percent, in contrast to an 8.1 percent contraction in April. Electronic exports declined 6 percent, following a 7.4 percent decline in the previous month.

Equipped with a bachelor in banking and finance, Joey covers the finance, technology and healthcare industry in Singapore.

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