Markets may look to earnings, economic growth as key drivers this week, Latest Business News - The New Paper

Markets may look to earnings, economic growth as key drivers this week

This article is more than 12 months old

World Economic Outlook to be released this week, along with local firms' results

With the US-China trade spat temporarily taking a back seat, markets may look to earnings and economic growth as key drivers this week.

It also looks set to be a slightly quieter week, with the US stock market closed today for the Martin Luther King holiday.

Some Asian markets, including Singapore, will likely wind down ahead of the eve of Chinese New Year on Friday.

Singapore's benchmark index closed flat last Friday as excitement from the initial US-China trade deal faded, capping the week with a 0.8 per cent gain.

But at least one punter is hoping the earnings season playing out in the US will give sentiment a fillip.

Most corporate earnings posted last week, including those of big banks, had exceeded estimates.

"More positive results from corporate America could send stock markets worldwide even higher," said market analyst Han Tan at FXTM, noting that corporations such as Netflix, Johnson & Johnson, UBS, Intel, and United Airlines will be reporting their results from the previous quarter.

On the Singapore bourse, announcements of corporate earnings will also start streaming in, led by property players.


For instance, results from Mapletree Logistic Trust will be out today, and from Keppel Reit and Frasers Centrepoint Asset Management on Wednesday, among others this week.

Aside from earnings, global growth is set to come into focus when the International Monetary Fund releases its World Economic Outlook today.

Last October, the fund had projected a "modest" improvement in global growth to 3.4 per cent this year, pointing out that recovery is not broad-based and "remains precarious".

Chief Asia market strategist at AxiTrader Stephen Innes said there has been a growing belief that global growth could gain momentum over the coming months, as significant downside risks to the global economy have been turned aside and worries over a possible recession have diminished, with the data giving credence to the possibility.

World leaders, including Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong will also gather at this week's World Economic Forum in the Swiss alpine town of Davos, where US President Donald Trump and Chinese Vice-Premier Han Zheng are expected to deliver speeches.

And with a deadline for the US and France to reach an agreement on digital taxation looming, analysts hope a deal can be achieved on the sidelines of the forum.

Otherwise, "there is room for escalation of trade tensions", warned Citi economists.