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Smart Look At The Week Ahead: Vaccine Hope

It will probably not come as a huge surprise to anyone that COVID-19 will be the focus of attention as the spectre of a second wave looms large. The World Health Organisation has said that it would be “unwise” to predict when a vaccine would be ready against the virus. But it did say that it expects interim results from clinical trials it is conducting on some drugs within the next two weeks.

Retail sales in the eurozone are expected to have rebounded by nearly 15% in May compared to April. But despite the strong monthly performance, shopkeepers are still nursing year-on-year declines of almost 9%.

Indonesia will also report retail sales. They are expected to show a 23% drop year on year for May. It would be the sixth straight month of declines, amidst restrictions that forced consumers to stay at home.

Closer to home, Malaysia will report retail sales that could show a slowdown in the rate of decline. In April, they slumped 32% following a 6.6% drop in March. But the decline for May could have moderated to around 25%.

Staying in Malaysia, Bank Negara could trim its overnight policy rate by another 0.25% to 1.75%. It would be the fourth month in succession that the central bank has cut the benchmark interest rate.

Industrial production in India for May could have dropped by as much as 37% year on year. The plunge would eclipse the 18% year-on-year decline in March.

And finally, the results of the Singapore election will be closely watched as voters go to the polls on Friday 10 July. Campaigning for the hearts and minds of 2.65 million Singaporeans has started in earnest ahead of a “cooling off” day on Thursday, the eve of polling day.

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

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