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Smart Look At The Week Ahead: Election Fever

As we enter the final three weeks of the US presidential campaign, an increasingly desperate Donald Trump is expected to cause more market disruptions. But there should be plenty of company results to keep investors occupied. On tap are some of America’s largest banks.

On the economic front, September US retail sales are expected to paint a bleak picture of struggling shopkeepers on main street. In August, retail sales only increased 2.6% from a year ago. The year-on-year improvement in September could be even slower.

China will report trade figures for September that could show a further widening of its surplus with the rest of the world. Meanwhile, the rate of inflation could have moderated from 2.4% in August to 2% in September.

Australia’s unemployment rate could have crept up to 7% in September following an unexpected fall to 6.8% the previous month. The reading in August was the lowest jobless rate since April, as COVID-19 restrictions were eased.

Over in neighbouring New Zealand, the incumbent prime minister, Jacinda Ardern is poised for a big win in the general election. Her Labour Party has a double-digit lead over the main opposition National Party.

The central bank of Indonesia will announce its latest interest-rate decision. Bank Indonesia is expected to hold its reverse purchase rate at 4%, as policymakers aim to stabilise the rupiah and support growth.

Malaysia could announce another improvement in retail sales, as the decline in August’s retail trade moderates for the fourth consecutive month. Elsewhere, industrial production could record its second month of expansion, and the unemployment rate could contract for the third month.

And finally, the Monetary Authority of Singapore is expected to keep its policy settings unchanged. The city state is also expected to say that the economy contracted 6% in the third quarter.

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Disclosure: David Kuo does not own shares in any of the companies mentioned.