Focus on data releases this week
After a full week of trading, the Singapore market has a four-day week ahead, thanks to the Labour Day holiday on Wednesday.
Market watchers have said the local and regional markets in Asia will start the week taking cues from Friday's strong session on Wall Street.
The performance of the New York Stock Exchange's three main indices came on the back of official "advance" estimates of US first-quarter growth at 3.2 per cent, beating street expectations, and better-than-expected corporate earnings by US-listed companies.
The S&P 500 and Nasdaq Composite Index finished at fresh records.
The former ended at 2,939.88, up 0.5 per cent, eclipsing April 23's all-time high by six points.
Meanwhile, the latter gained 0.3 per cent to 8,146.40. The Dow Jones Industrial Average advanced 0.3 per cent on Friday, to close at 26,543.33.
Even though it may be a shortened week of trading in Singapore, there are still a slew of economic data releases and key Straits Times Index (STI) constituents reporting their earnings.
March bank lending and monetary aggregates data are due tomorrow, and May 3 will see official Purchasing Managers' Index (PMI) figures for April.
Six STI component companies reported their earnings for the first three months of the calendar year last week.
This week will see four more STI counters post earnings, all of which will be keenly watched.
Today, DBS Group Holdings reveals first-quarter earnings and Ascendas Reit will post fiscal 2018 results.
"DBS shares have been trading up in the days leading up to the bank's first-quarter results release," a trader observed.
Tomorrow will see real estate player CapitaLand, and on May 3 United Overseas Bank, release first quarter results.
On Saturday, Best World International said it has been granted an extension of a trading halt, which will be lifted before market opens on May 6.
Trading in the shares of the skincare maker and distributor were halted at 11.25am last Wednesday after falling 9 per cent, following a report by shortseller Bonitas Research that questioned the accounting behind Best World's profits and its sales practices in China.
Key data releases in Asia include China's April manufacturing PMI figures tomorrow.
The private sector's Caixin PMI, focusing more on smaller and medium-sized companies, will be out on May 2.
FXTM research analyst Han Tan said: "Should China's manufacturing data in the week ahead show further stability in the world's second largest economy, that may help anchor growth for Asian economies that are still contending with US-China trade tensions and the overall moderation in global growth."
Other key Asian releases include trade data from Hong Kong and Malaysia as well as consumer price index figures from South Korea.
There are no monetary policy decisions by central banks in the Asia-Pacific this week.
But key monetary policy decisions will be made by the US Federal Reserve and Bank of England on May 2.
"Investors will be trying to ascertain just how 'patient' and 'data-dependent' the Fed will be at the upcoming meeting, even as markets attempt to price in a pre-emptive rate cut," Mr Tan noted.
Markets in Japan will remain closed for the entire week - with the holidays around the new emperor's accession to the throne adding to the country's Golden Week festivities - and trading will resume on May 7.
The 10-day break in Japan has caused worries among the trading community and regulators, as UOB economist Alvin Liew noted, with concerns about "the potential for cash shortages, market volatility or even episodes of 'flash crash' like the one that happened on Jan 3 during Japan's extended new year holiday".
For full listings of SGX prices, go to https://www2.sgx.com
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