Five things to know before the Singapore market trades this week: May 4-10

All eyes will be on the US jobs report due on Friday, which will signal whether the world's largest economy is faring any better in the second quarter. -- PHOTO: BLOOMBERG
All eyes will be on the US jobs report due on Friday, which will signal whether the world's largest economy is faring any better in the second quarter. -- PHOTO: BLOOMBERG

1. All eyes on US jobs report

Always top of the data pile, this week will be no exception for the US jobs report with a first interest rate rise likely this year despite a dramatic slowdown in the first quarter.

After a harsh winter brought US growth almost to a halt in the first three months of 2015, April's non-farm payrolls report, due on Friday, will signal whether the world's largest economy is faring any better in the second quarter.

The Federal Reserve has put in place a meeting-by-meeting approach on the timing of its first rate hike since June 2006, making such a decision solely dependent on incoming economic data. Last week it downgraded its view of the US labour market and economy, suggesting it may wait until late in the year to begin raising rates.

A weak jobs report would cement expectations that there will be no tightening until September and possibly later.

2. Britain goes uncertain to the polls

Britain faces its most unpredictable election in a generation on Thursday. Latest opinion polls show neither of the main parties - the Conservatives or Labour - will be able to govern alone, forcing them to seek partners or support from elsewhere.

Any prolonged uncertainty about the make-up of the next government, and whether it can last, could well depress economic activity and confidence.

3. Eurozone jolted awake

The theme of 2015 so far has been the comatose eurozone being jolted back to life by European Central Bank money printing, cheap oil and food prices and a weak euro to outperform, at least relatively, the world's two biggest economies.

Data last week showed bank lending to eurozone households and firms rose for the first time in three years. Purchasing managers' surveys this week will give the latest snapshot of activity.

4. Greece races to meet deadline

Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras hopes for a reform-for-funds deal with the eurozone and International Monetary Fund by Saturday. Eurozone finance ministers meet on May 11 and Greece is due to repay the IMF 750 million euros a day later, a bill it is not certain it can meet.

Negotiations resume Monday on the the country's bailout agenda after four days of intensive negotiations last week.

Reasons to expect a deal are beginning to mount up.

Mr Tsipras has sidelined his finance minister, who was deemed too abrasive by his euro peers, and a top government official said Athens was willing to sell a majority stake in its two biggest ports and compromise on value-added tax rates and some pension reforms, in the clearest signal yet that it is ready to back down.

5. Key Asia data this week

Chinese services data due Wednesday and trade figures out Friday will reveal more on the struggles of the world's second-largest economy to meet its growth targets.

India and Singapore are among a slew of Asian economies with PMI manufacturing activity reports out this week.

Japanese markets are closed for Golden Week holidays until Thursday.

Source: Reuters, Wall Street Journal