5 things to know before the Singapore market opens this week: Oct 5-11

IMF managing director Christine Lagarde visiting Peru's Pisac Artisan Market. An IMF press conference will be held in Peru's capital of Lima on Oct 6, 2015.
IMF managing director Christine Lagarde visiting Peru's Pisac Artisan Market. An IMF press conference will be held in Peru's capital of Lima on Oct 6, 2015. PHOTO: REUTERS

1. IMF, World Bank meet in Lima

The International Monetary Fund releases its World Economic Outlook on Tuesday (Oct 6) and will hold a press conference in the Peruvian capital of Lima, leading up to the Oct 9-11 annual meetings of the IMF and World Bank.

The fund is likely to revise downwards its estimates for global economic growth due to slower growth in emerging economies, IMF head Christine Lagarde said in a newspaper interview last week. The fund in July cut its forecast for global growth this year to 3.3 per cent, from the 3.5 per cent pace projected in April.

The IMF also issues its Global Financial Stability Report on Wednesday.

Policymakers meeting in Lima will be focusing on China's economic slide and its impact on the rest of the world. Activity in China's vast factory sector shrank again in September, fuelling fears that the economy there may be cooling more rapidly than thought just a few months ago, with a reverberating impact on emerging and developed economies.

Stock markets worldwide have just concluded their worst quarter since 2011, so IMF delegates, primarily central bank governors and finance ministers from around the globe, will seek reassurances from China that it can smooth, if not halt, its slide.

2. Fed releases September meeting minutes

Unexpectedly weak US jobs data out last Friday (Oct 2) further clouded the global economic picture and pointed to a much-anticipated rate hike from the Federal Reserve being delayed further.

Investors will get more details on the Fed's decision not to raise rates in September with the release of the minutes from the meeting on Friday (Oct 9), Singapore time, which will be closely examined for any signs of when the Fed will act.

This is also a big week for Fed sightings, with no fewer than five speeches planned by Fed governors and presidents.

3. Light week for US data while China holiday continues

This will be one of those rare weeks with few important economic indicators for release in the US, and China still on a National Day holiday till Thursday.

There will be the US services data on Monday. Service industries, which make up almost 90 per cent of the world's biggest economy, probably grew at a slower pace in September following the second-highest reading since 2005.

US trade data will be out on Tuesday.

4. Central banks meet in Britain, Japan, Australia

Analysts expect the Bank of England, not keen to be the first to hike, will stay put on Thursday, leaving it on course to make its first move well after the Fed.

Japan appears to be on the brink of a recession and the Bank of Japan's tankan survey indicates worsening conditions. Still, the data is not expected to be enough to trigger more stimulus when the bank meets on Tuesday and Wednesday. Instead, the BOJ may wait at least until its late October meeting, when economic forecasts are updated but more likely until early next year, when the impact of the Chinese slowdown is better gauged.

The Reserve Bank of Australia will also keep rates on hold on Tuesday and possibly for all of next year, satisfied that the currency's slide to its weakest level since mid-2009 has eased conditions enough to soften the impact of a mining bust.

5. Euro zone meets on Greece

Euro zone finance ministers meet on Monday to discuss Greece's progress on steps needed to receive bailout loans for the first time since the country's elections.

On Wednesday, French President Francois Hollande and German Chancellor Angela Merkel will address the European Parliament, the first such joint appearance since 1989. Europe's refugee crisis and ways to deepen integration are likely topics.

Sources: Wall Street Journal, Reuters, Bloomberg