Morning Minutes: What will make headlines, March 15, 2016

Social Workers' Day, which is organised by the Singapore Association of Social Workers, is at Gardens by the Bay this year.
Social Workers' Day, which is organised by the Singapore Association of Social Workers, is at Gardens by the Bay this year.ST PHOTO: LIM YONG TECK

Good morning! Morning Minutes is a round-up of stories that will break on Tuesday, March 15, and which we think you'd be interested in.

It appears on weekdays, available by 7am.

Social workers to be honoured on Social Workers' Day

Ten social workers who have played critical roles in shaping the sector in the last 30 years are being honoured on Tuesday (March 15), on the 10th anniversary of the Social Workers’ Day celebrations in Singapore. 

The event, which is organised by the Singapore Association of Social Workers, is at Gardens by the Bay this year. About 500 social workers and social service practitioners will attend the event. - LIN YANGCHEN

Singapore's private home sales data to be released

An aerial view of the private estates in the Upper Thomson area. ST PHOTO: MARK CHEONG

Data for Singapore's new private home sales for February will be unveiled on Tuesday (March 15). Market watchers expect the number to be insipid as there were no new launches last month amid a very volatile stock market. In January, developers sold only 322 private residential units, down 16 per cent from 384 in December. Only 146 units were launched for sale in January.

Five US states to hold primaries for the United States presidential election 

Donald Trump speaks during a rally in West Chester, Ohio on March 13, 2016. PHOTO: AFP

A potentially crucial round of nominating contests takes place in the run-up to the United States presidential election on Tuesday (March 15), when five states – Florida, Illinois, Missouri, North Carolina and Ohio – hold primaries for both Democratic and Republican candidates in what has been dubbed the so-called “Super Tuesday 2” by the media. With the results, the Republican party will see if the violent scenes at a weekend rally for billionaire Donald Trump over the weekend will hurt his so far bulletproof campaign. 

Bank of Japan to conduct policy review

A man crosses a street outside the headquarters of the Bank of Japan in Tokyo, Japan on Feb 16, 2016. PHOTO: REUTERS

The Bank of Japan, which adopted a negative interest rate in January, will conclude a policy review on Tuesday (March 15). Economists say it is expected to keep its policy rate at minus 0.1 per cent, while the annual expansion of the monetary base will remain at 80 trillion yen (S$963.1 billion). The BOJ added negative rates to its record asset-purchase program in an effort to stoke lending and give a fresh jolt to an economy that continues to stutter.

Last Friday (March 11), Bank of Japan Governor Haruhiko Kuroda told the government’s top advisory panel that it will take time for its negative interest rate policy to have an impact. Stocks closed higher yesterday extending a global rally as upbeat Japanese data lifted sentiment over on Tuesday's (March 15) meeting.  

Indonesia to report trade surplus

Tanjung Priok port in North Jakarta, Indonesia on Dec 15, 2015. PHOTO: REUTERS

Indonesia is expected to report a small trade surplus for February, when trade data comes out on Tuesday (March 15), while economists expect exports and imports to decline at a slower pace than a month earlier. Exports in February were seen falling 14.70 per cent from a year earlier, compared to a 20.72 percent plunge in January. The drop in imports in February was seen at 10.70 per cent from a year ago, versus a 17.15 per cent slump in January.