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.
Kicking off the summer season, festivals and trade shows will replace light data and earnings results next week. From the 47thInternational Paris Air Show to Dragonboat Festivals in both Taiwan and Hong Kong, the world is ready to celebrate its much-deserved season of fun.
In Singapore, exhibitors and visitors alike are readying up for the region’s formative ICT conference, CommunicAsia 2007. Tune in to see CNBC Asia’s live, on-location coverage of the event throughout the week which will be streamed on CNBC.com.
On Tuesday, market watchers will wait to see if there’s any end in sight for the U.S. housing slump, as the sector continues to struggle from steep drops in demand and an oversupply of stock. The 2007 State of the Nation’s Housing Report from Harvard University released this week said that after years of setting records, housing starts and sales are scheduled to end even lower this year than in 2006. So much for the creative mortgage products designed to draw more “this-could-be-your-dream” homeowners in to the market.
Riding the coattails of the Bank of Japan's decision to unanimously hold interest rates at 0.50%, investors in both Japan and Australia will focus on central banks in both nations as they release their most recent meeting minutes. Rest assured, participants have them under the microscope to hunt for any signs of inflation or hints of future rate hikes. Japanese economists are calling for a hike sometime in the July-September quarter, while initial RBA commentary that a rate hike is not necessarily imminent has eased investors concerns.
On Friday, the time for Cemex’s US$16 billion bid for Australia’s Rinker will ding, already drawing the attention of the Australian securities watchdog known as the Takeovers Panel. The world’s third-largest cement maker may be forced to compensate Rinker’s investors who missed out on a dividend payment. The Panel has said it will appoint a group to consider the matter.