Renewed faith in the U.S. economy is set to propel Asian stock markets next week, especially as the bond markets show signs of stabilizing. However investors continue to remain edgy about the prospects for global interest rates.
Who would have thought that an interest rate hike in New Zealand would spark a sell-off in global markets?! Inflation is the buzzword around the world this upcoming week.
The buzz in Asia has been about China tripling stamp duties on stock trades. And if there is any truth in the latest rumors swirling around, a capital gains tax on shares is on the horizon, though Chinese officials have been quick to dismiss it. The same officials who on May 22 denied rumors of an increase in stamp tax, which was announced just a week later. The dust will have plenty of time to settle over the weekend. Expect Chinese markets to continue hogging everyone’s attention throughout the upcoming week.
All eyes will be on Washington D.C. this week as Vice Premier Wu Yi meets with U.S. Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson for the second round of strategic talks between the two powers. Topics on the table include, the yuan, the widening trade gap between the two countries and intellectual property rights.
This past week was all about mergers and acquisitions – friendly, hostile, rumored and failed. For now, Qantas remains a public company and the fate of its chairwoman, Margaret Jackson, remains uncertain.
Asia closes the curtain on five days of sleepy, holiday trading and the week ahead is an outpour of earnings results mixed with key economic data that will push Asian investors back into full alert mode.
It is time to stop and smell the roses (or cherry blossoms at least) as we head into the second month of Spring. May starts on a sparkling note with Japan taking the entire week off for the Golden Week holidays and China celebrating the labor movement with a four-day vacation. With China and Japan taking a nice long break, investors will depend on U.S. and Australian economic data to move the markets in the week ahead.