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Smart Look At The Week Ahead: The Fed and Top Glove

The September interest-rate decision by US Federal Reserve will take centre stage next week. The central bank has said that it will keep interest rates lower for years to support recovery from the coronavirus crisis and recession. But the question is how low is going to be low enough.

At 0.25%, the Fed has little room to move on the interest rate front. But it could use the cover of the recovering US jobs market and a rebound in retail sales to explain why it does not need to do anymore. The year-on-year retail sales number could show a third month of improvement.

Staying with shopkeepers, China could say that retail sales grew slightly compared to a year ago. It would be the first year-on-year increase in eight months. Meanwhile, China’s unemployment rate could have moderated from 5.7% to 5.6%.

The Bank of Japan will announce its latest interest-rate decision. It is expected to maintain its key short-term interest rates at -0.1%. Other central banks with interest-rate decisions include Bank Indonesia and the Bank of England. They are expected to sit on their hands, too.

And finally, rubber glove maker Top Glove (SGX: BVA) will announce fourth-quarter results. The company, along with its peers that include Hartalega and Riverstone (SGX: AP4) have been some of the main beneficiaries of the coronavirus pandemic because of the global demand for personal protective equipment.

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Disclosure: David Kuo owns shares in Top Glove.