Five things to know before the market trades this week, Feb 23-March 1

1. It's B-Day

Budget Day, or everyone's Birthday, going by high expectations for this year's jubilee and pre-election Budget to deliver "presents" for all Singaporeans young, middle-aged or old; lower, middle or higher income; company, family or individual.

Deputy Prime Minister and Finance Minister Tharman Shanmugaratnam delivers the 2015 Budget Statement at 3.30pm on Monday. Join The Straits Times at as it live-blogs the event with news and instant analysis.

2. Greece: Too soon to celebrate

Greece struck a tenuous agreement last Friday for a four-month extension of its €240 billion (S$370 billion) bailout. But to seal the deal, Greece has until Monday to present a list of budget cuts and economic overhauls that have to pass the scrutiny of its "troika" of creditors - the European Commission, the European Central Bank and the International Monetary Fund. On Tuesday, European finance ministers will review the proposals.

Prime Minister Alexis Tsipra's left-wing government is walking a tightrope between its commitments to European creditors and its electoral pledges to end austerity in a country struggling to recover from a severe economic crisis. In what was seen as a climb down, Greece last Friday conceded that the current bailout will be extended pending further talks.

The four-month extension will allow for a new reform deal to be negotiated during that time period.

3. Yellen's testimony to US Congress

The highlight of the US economic calendar this week is two days of testimony by Federal Reserve chairman Janet Yellen before Congress. Ms Yellen will deliver the US central bank's semi-annual monetary policy testimony before the Senate and the House of Representatives on Tuesday and Wednesday respectively.

She will also take questions from lawmakers who will try to glean from her clues as to when the US central bank plans to start hiking interest rates - a move that will affect rates the world over, including Singapore.

Minutes from the Fed's January meeting has diminished expectations for a June move on rates. Ms Yellen's testimony is likely to confirm that the Fed is in no big hurry to raise interest rates and that any move remains data-dependent.

Speaking of data, there's a slew of US figures out this week, including several reports on the housing market, the consumer price index, consumer confidence and the biggie - first glance at US fourth-quarter gross domestic product on Friday.

4. Modi's first full Budget

India's government announces its 2015 Budget on Saturday. It will be the first full Budget presented since Prime Minister Narendra Modi's Bharatiya Janata Party swept to power last May. Mr Modi produced an interim Budget in July that was largely designed by the outgoing Congress party government.

The Budget will be watched closely as a gauge of whether Mr Modi can match his soaring rhetoric about India's promise with detailed plans for streamlining the bureaucracy and making it easier to do business, the Wall Street Journal said.

5. More signs of life from Germany?

A private sector report last Friday surprised on the upside by showing the euro zone economy gathering momentum this month, powered by continuing strength in Germany and surprisingly strong growth in France. According to the survey by Markit Economic, purchasing managers across the euro zone - the 19-nation currency union - reported increased backlogs of work and an improvement in demand, leading companies to add workers at the fastest pace since August 2011.

There is key data due this week from Germany, the region's biggest economy. Analysts expect the German Ifo business climate index, due on Monday, to rise for a fourth straight month in February. Germany's Q4 GDP, due on Tuesday, is expected to confirm that the economy grew a solid 0.7 per cent quarter on quarter in the final months of last year.

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