5 things to know before the Singapore market trades this week: July 13-19

People sit in a restaurant next to a Greek flag on the Salamina island near Athens, on July 12, 2015.
People sit in a restaurant next to a Greek flag on the Salamina island near Athens, on July 12, 2015. PHOTO: AFP

1. Another day, another make-or-break deadline for Greece

Greece on Sunday was given three days to enact economic reforms or face being ejected from the euro, with euro zone finance ministers, citing "broken trust", refusing to even talk about a third bailout programme until the Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras pushes through new laws in Parliament by Wednesday.

The ministers even proposed a "time-out" - a temporary Greek exit from the euro - if Greece fails to meet this new deadline. For the first time then, a "Grexit" is officially on the table.

With another crunch bailout vote looming in the next 72 hours and Greek banks running out of cash, it looks like Mr Tsipras will have to expel rebels from his own leftist Syriza party to have any chance of getting the reforms passed and keeping Greece in the euro.

2. China's 2Q GDP figures out on Wednesday

For those watching the world economy, especially from Asia, China, not Greece, is the No. 1 concern. And news from China has been taking turns with Greece to hog the headlines all month.

Its stock markets have been on a roller-coaster ride with the benchmark Shanghai Composite Index tanking more than 30 per cent in less than four weeks, before reversing course in the last two trading days of last week.

But all eyes will turn this week on the more fundamental issue of China's economy. Official data due out on Wednesday are likely to show that the world's second-largest economy slowed further in the second quarter on a drop in investment and trade. The median forecast in an AFP poll of economists indicates gross domestic product (GDP) expanded 6.9 per cent in April-June, marginally down from 7.0 per cent in the first three months of this year. But this would be the worst quarterly result since the first three months of 2009, in the depths of the global financial crisis, when China's economy expanded by 6.6 per cent.

The stock market turmoil, while adding to the risks in China's financial system, is largely seen as having little effect on the real economy. Chinese citizens have much greater exposure to the housing market than to stocks and, for now, Beijing appears to have successfully engineered a stock market rebound.

3. Yellen in Congress

Federal Reserve policymakers were clear in minutes of the June policy meeting that they were keeping a close eye on economic growth abroad, particularly in China and other emerging markets. Traders and investors in financial markets, who already had pushed to September from June expectations for the first US interest rate rise in nearly a decade, are now talking about December or even not until 2016.

So markets are now looking to testimony from Fed chief Janet Yellen to the US Congress on Wednesday and Thursday for more clarity on how close the US central bank is to raising rates.

4. Singapore's flash Q2 GDP estimates out on Tuesday

Economists have been lowering their forecasts for Singapore's economic growth in the April-June quarter.

A Reuters poll out on Friday had economists predicting that GDP for th second quarter rose 2.4 per cent from a year earlier, down from the 2.6 per cent rise in the previous three months.

The forecast is significantly lower than the median 2.7 per cent prediction in a quarterly survey by the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) released in June. In the previous central bank survey, the forecast was 2.9 per cent.

The flash estimates for Q2 GDP will be released at 8am on Tuesday (July 14).

Economists say sluggish global demand has hurt Singapore's manufacturing sector. Local factory output expanded in May and June, but new export orders index in April-June period contracted, according to a survey by the Singapore Institute of Purchasing & Materials Management.

The Government has maintained its full-year GDP growth forecast at between 2 and 4 per cent in 2015.

5. US earnings week

This week brings earnings from many of the biggest US companies including Google, Netflix, Goldman Sachs, JPMorgan Chase. Intel and Johnson & Johnson at a time when valuations of some US stocks are considered expensive. Some reassurance on prospects for US company shares would be welcomed by nervous investors looking to a US economic recovery to power the world's.