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Thread: Analysts expect a V-shaped recovery

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    Default Analysts expect a V-shaped recovery

    http://www.straitstimes.com/Money/St...ry_429849.html

    Sep 15, 2009 Tuesday

    Analysts expect a V-shaped recovery

    Economists here revise forecasts upwards due to strong global data

    By Robin Chan


    THE 'V' is back in fashion, as a wave of optimism sweeps across those who monitor Singapore's economy.

    Research houses Morgan Stanley and United Overseas Bank are among those tipping that the economy will stage a V-shaped rebound from the depths of recession and not stagger along in an 'L' or a 'U'.

    The brokerages issued reports on Friday pushing up gross domestic product (GDP) forecasts for this year, with Morgan Stanley forecasting minus 3.5 per cent and UOB minus 3.3 per cent - both a good deal better than earlier tips of a 5per cent contraction.

    And a week before that, Credit Suisse economists revised their forecast upwards for just a 2.4 per cent dip.

    The bullishness comes as manufacturing and export data - critical components of the Singapore economy - seem to have not only turned the corner, but are firmly on the way up as the country latches on to the global upturn.

    The upgrades come on the back of a survey of 21 private sector economists released at the beginning of the month that showed sentiment is quickly turning up among most forecasters.

    The Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) survey showed an improved consensus for a 3.6 per cent dip from 6.5 per cent when the survey was conducted six months before.

    But the Government, so far, is sticking to its official forecast of a 4 per cent to 6 per cent dip. Last week, Finance Minister Tharman Shanmugaratnam warned of a potential double dip - the much feared W-shaped outcome - meaning GDP could still contract further in the months ahead.

    Nonetheless, strong global data is forcing the hand of many economists.

    Citi's Mr Kit Wei Zheng has turned from one of the more bearish forecasters to one of the most bullish. He has lifted his full-year estimate from minus 5 per cent to minus 2.7 per cent, and expects a whopping 6.2 per cent expansion next year.

    He is convinced of a powerful V-shaped recovery for Singapore, driven by a sustained surge in drugs output and a pickup in the electronics sector, which he believes has bottomed out.

    HSBC's Mr Robert Prior-Wandesforde is also tipping a strong export-led recovery, but he is yet to revise his forecast.

    He said many indicators point to a strong rally in Asian domestic demand based on government stimulus packages as well as consumer spending and investment. It could all add up to a timely boost for Singapore's exports to the region.

    'This is happening before the full impact of the highly synchronised fiscal and monetary stimulus measures have been felt in the region,' he wrote in a report.

    DBS economist Irvin Seah, who has also upgraded his forecast, said that while the reasons for the recovery so far have been due to the manufacturing sector, the positive impact of global recovery will filter down to the services sector and lead a more broad-based rebound.

    However, some economists are not jumping on the recovery bandwagon just yet, with those like Standard Chartered's Mr Alvin Liew waiting for more data.

    Mr Liew does not think that manufacturing's performance in the next two quarters will have as much of a spring in its step as in the second quarter, when output grew 12.4 per cent and helped lift the economy out of a technical recession.

    'We need to see if the manufacturing recovery is more than just a pharma story and a restocking story,' he said. He is not yet convinced of a tech sector rebound.

    Others, like OCBC's Ms Selena Ling, are still sceptical.

    She believes all the positive data and sentiment have already been factored into the numbers, and though full-year GDP may come in better than her minus 4.6 per cent forecast, it is likely to remain close to minus 4 per cent.

    'If there's any surprise, it will not come from the export side, but would be in the form of services picking up faster than expected,' she said.

    The numbers for next year are even more varied among economists, who see dangers ahead.

    Ms Ling cautioned: 'Going forward, it will be a tricky balance for policymakers to need to nip the (inflationary) bubbles, but not step on the brakes so much that it kills the recovery story.'

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    Analysts say V, PM Lee yesterday said W is likely...

    Hmm.....

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    Analysts are usually over-optimistic and over-pessimistic.....

    I would stick to our PM's comment....

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    but i saw on the news that PM was smiling when he was talking about the possibility of a V + V = W, i wonder why...

    Quote Originally Posted by kurby
    Analysts are usually over-optimistic and over-pessimistic.....

    I would stick to our PM's comment....

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    I can only say ..there is no value add in having a analyst predict anything.. they are usually followers of the herd as well.

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    Quote Originally Posted by bargain hunter
    but i saw on the news that PM was smiling when he was talking about the possibility of a V + V = W, i wonder why...
    it's a sign lor. What are you waiting for?

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    Every other days, different analysts or ministers predict
    V Recovery, W Recovery, U Recovery, and some even said L.


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    Quote Originally Posted by Lucas
    Every other days, different analysts or ministers predict
    V Recovery, W Recovery, U Recovery, and some even said L.

    Believe in your own judgement....

    Use simple way and method to look at the market, ask yourself, where to you find money to pay your housing loan every month without fail.

    No need to listen to analysts, they usually not accurate. They only comment after things have happen. " horse back canon"

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    Must predict bad then when turn out good, everybody will say that you did a good job.

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    Quote Originally Posted by echotrain
    Must predict bad then when turn out good, everybody will say that you did a good job.
    Yea, anyone can say anything.
    Unless his head is on the chopping block.

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    亚洲明年经济增长 汇丰调高预估至7.6%
    新加坡综合电
    星期三, 7-10-2009

    汇丰控股(HSBC)估计中国带领亚洲地区明年经济增长率达到7.6%,台湾、韩国将率先升息。

    汇丰控股昨天调高日本除外的亚洲地区明年经济增长率预估至7.6%,原估为6.9%,主要是因为中国、韩国、新加坡经济的带动。汇丰表示,亚洲经济已开始恢复增长,内需和出口都在加速。

    该行估计中国明年增长9.5%,高于原估的8.5%,香港经济预测由2.4%上调至3.8%,韩国由3.6%上调至4.6%,新加坡由5.3%上调至6.5%

    汇丰发布报告指出:“亚洲经济全面复苏,内需点火,带动各主要产业需求,出口也加速增长。”

    汇丰经济专家万德斯福德(Robert Prior-Wandesforde)与纽曼(Frederic Neumann)在报告中写道:“除消费与投资持续强力增长外,未来数月在西方回补库存与新兴市场内部贸易交往下,出口也可望反弹。”

    该行称,亚洲各经济体央行将逐步开始升息。澳洲已调升利率,韩国与台湾明年第一季将采取行动。中国、印度、印尼、菲律宾、越南与泰国将跟进,于明年第二季升息。

    报告同时指出,中国的基建投资将持续两至三年,可支持明年经济增长。

    另外,汇丰控股表示,根据汇丰的采购经理指数,亚洲新兴市场将领导全球经济复苏。该指数在今年第三季度从前一季度的50.7上升到55.3。

    汇丰总裁纪勤(Michael Geoghegan)说:“这项指数显示新兴市场会继续带动全球景气。”汇丰控股预估明年新兴市场经济增长6%,高于发达国家的1.8%。2008年第四季,该指数曾跌到43.8的最低纪录。

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    ANAL-ysts ANAL-yse

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    Singapore economy grows 0.8%
    Agence France-Presse
    Singapore
    Monday, 12 October 2009

    Singapore's economy grew by an estimated 0.8% in the three months to September from a year ago, the first such growth in five quarters, the government said Monday.

    While gross domestic product (GDP) will fall in 2009, the government amended its full-year 2009 forecast to a contraction of 2.0 to 2.5%, well below the previous estimate of negative 4.0 to 6.0%.

    "A clear but modest recovery is underway globally, at least for the next three or four quarters," the ministry of trade and industry said in a statement.

    The year-on-year expansion confirmed Singapore's recovery from the worst recession in its history, which began in the second quarter of 2008.

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    Singapore economy grows 0.8% in Q3: government
    Agence France-Presse
    Singapore
    Monday, 12 October 2009, 11.00am CCT


    The financial district of Singapore. The city state's economy grew by an estimated 0.8% in the three months to September from a year ago, the first such growth in five quarters, the government said Monday. - Photo: Roslan Rahman, AFP

    Singapore's economy grew by an estimated 0.8% in the three months to September from a year ago, cementing the city-state's recovery from its worst recession, official figures showed Monday.

    "A clear but modest recovery is underway globally, at least for the next three or four quarters," the ministry of trade and industry said in a statement.

    While gross domestic product (GDP) will fall in 2009, the government amended its full-year forecast to a contraction of 2.0 to 2.5%, well below the previous estimate of negative 4.0 to 6.0% growth.

    It was the trade-dependent economy's first year-on-year expansion in five quarters and was based on July and August numbers. The estimate is expected to be revised when the full September numbers are available next month.

    "One-off factors such as restocking activities and fiscal stimulus measures will continue to support growth in the near term," the ministry said.

    On a seasonally adjusted quarterly basis, GDP surged 14.9% following a revised 22% expansion in the second quarter to June, the ministry said.

    It was the second successive quarter-on-quarter growth period.

    Growth in the third quarter was driven by expansion in the biomedical and electronics manufacturing industries, which are the key pillars of Singapore's industrial sector.

    Manufacturing, which accounts for almost a quarter of Singapore's GDP, grew 8.3% in third quarter from a year ago and expanded 34.9% on a quarterly basis.

    The services industry shrank 2.4% on the year but expanded 9.5% on a quarterly basis while the construction sector surged 12.4% year-on-year but fell 0.6% on a quarterly basis, the ministry said.

    "Growth was driven by the continued expansion of biomedical and electronics manufacturing output, and improvements in the trade-related and tourism sectors of the economy on the back of a gradual stabilisation in global economic conditions," it said.

    Singapore's trade-reliant economy sank into recession in the second quarter of 2008 as the global financial crisis unfolded, hurting demand for its exports to its major markets including the United States and European Union.

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    Singapore Raises 2009 Economic Forecast Amid Recovery
    Shamim Adam
    Bloomberg
    Singapore
    Monday, 12 October 2009, 10.09am CCT

    http://www.bloomberg.com/apps/data?p...d=i9aAtScgUllo

    Singapore raised its 2009 economic forecast after gross domestic product expanded for a second consecutive quarter, strengthening a regional recovery that has prompted policy makers to consider ending stimulus measures.

    The economy will shrink 2% to 2.5% this year, less than an earlier forecast for a contraction of 4% to 6%, the trade ministry said in a statement today. GDP expanded an annualized 14.9% last quarter from the previous three months, the second consecutive expansion.

    Singapore’s central bank said today it will maintain a zero appreciation stance in its currency policy, after opting for a de-facto devaluation of the Singapore dollar in April to help reverse a collapse in exports. Central banks around the world have begun to indicate a willingness to raise interest rates as inflation returns with economic recovery.

    “Asian economies are recovering so we may see a slow withdrawal of fiscal and monetary stimulus because they can’t go cold turkey,” said Alvin Liew, an economist at Standard Chartered Plc in Singapore. “The export outlook is improving but there are still potential speed bumps such as unemployment and we may see a prolonged recovery process.”

    Australia last week became the first among the Group of 20 nations to raise borrowing costs since the height of the global financial crisis, and U.S. Federal Reserve Chairman Ben S. Bernanke said the Fed is prepared to tighten monetary policy when the outlook for the economy “has improved sufficiently.”

    Stocks Rise

    Singapore’s benchmark stock index rose 0.6% as at 9:55 a.m. The measure has surged 52% this year as a rebound in manufacturing helped the nation emerge from its worst recession since independence in 1965.

    “A clear but modest recovery is under way globally,” the trade ministry said today. “One-off factors such as restocking activities and fiscal stimulus measures will continue to support growth in the near term.”

    Asia is leading the world’s recovery from its economic slump after the region’s policy makers slashed interest rates to unprecedented lows and governments announced more than $950 billion of stimulus.

    “Singapore is always the first in the region to provide a reliable GDP report so a strong reading would be a positive sign for other outcomes in the region,” said Matthew Hildebrandt, an economist at JPMorgan Chase & Co. in Singapore. “The worst of global economic turmoil is behind us,” reducing the need to further ease monetary policy, he said.

    Exchange Rate

    The Singapore dollar fell 0.5% to S$1.4001 against the U.S. currency as at 9:55 a.m. The Monetary Authority of Singapore, known as MAS, maintained a neutral stance in its twice-yearly currency policy review today, favoring neither appreciation nor depreciation against its trade-weighted basket of currencies.

    The central bank, which uses its exchange rate rather than interest rates to control inflation, said the strength of the economic recovery may ease after an “initial uplift,” and GDP growth in 2010 is expected to be slower than in previous post- recession periods.

    Singapore is forecast by economists including JPMorgan’s Hildebrandt to delay any change in its currency policy until April. The government is due to say this week if it will extend a program that pays companies to retain workers.

    “Singapore’s economy is extremely volatile” and the boost to growth from companies rebuilding inventory and government stimulus is starting to fade, said Hildebrandt. “Because of this uncertainty, we do not expect the MAS to change its monetary policy stance. The risk to inflation is still low so the MAS has no need to tighten policy.”

    Inflation Forecast

    The central bank expects inflation to be about zero this year, before accelerating to a range of 1% to 2% in 2010, it said in a statement today.

    Singapore’s $182 billion economy grew 0.8% in the third quarter from a year earlier, the first expansion in more than a year. The government has raised its 2009 economic forecast twice this year from an April prediction for a contraction of as much as 9%.

    “Uncertainties over the pace of the withdrawal of monetary and fiscal stimulus measures pose an additional risk” globally, the trade ministry said. “While these factors may dampen growth in the second half of 2010 and result in an uneven recovery, the likelihood of a return to recessionary conditions is low in the absence of further financial shocks.”

    Drugs, Chips

    Manufacturing, which accounts for about a quarter of the economy, rose 8.3% from a year earlier last quarter, after sliding a revised 1.1% in the three months through June.

    Improving demand for pharmaceuticals and electronics has prompted companies including Chartered Semiconductor Manufacturing Ltd. to predict sales will increase. Singapore’s exports fell the least in almost a year in August.

    The island’s services industry declined 2.4% last quarter from a year earlier, after falling 4.8% in the previous three months. The construction industry gained 12.4% as real-estate developers including Frasers Centrepoint Ltd. built homes, hotels and office towers.

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    Economists and Government revise forecast
    Upbeat Q3 economic data released yesterday
    BaoYing Ng
    Today
    Tuesday, 13 October 2009

    More economists are upgrading their forecast for Singapore's full year growth following the upbeat third quarter economic data which was released yesterday.

    In line with the Government's full year growth upgrade, private sector economists have also raised their projections and expect full-year Gross Domestic Product (GDP) to contract between 1.5% and 1.9% from -2.5% previously.

    The Ministry of Trade and Industry has upgraded its economic growth forecast for the Singapore economy, from a contraction of 4 to 6% to a contraction of 2 and 2.5% yesterday.

    This was on the back of the 0.8% year-on-year GDP expansion in the third quarter, its first positive growth in five quarters.

    HSBC, senior Asian economist, Mr Robert Prior-Wandesforde, said: "That has been the biggest increase in GDP over the six-month period the economy has ever seen. Clearly, this is a V-shaped recovery, a very strong recovery. One I think will continue through the rest of this year and 2010."
    As a result, HSBC now expects GDP growth to come in at -1.5% for the full year, from -2.5%.

    Mr Wandesforde added: "Actually to achieve -2% GDP, the economy would actually have to decline in Q4 relative to Q3.

    "Unless pharmaceutical sector collapses I think that's extremely unlikely. The balance of risks is that we're going to see a negative for 2009 as a whole, given the extreme weakness at the beginning of the year. But it's more likely to be in the order of 1.5% or so."

    Barclays Capital senior regional economist Leong Wai Ho has also raised his full year growth forecast to -1.5% from -2.5%, while DBS economist Irvin Seah reckoned that the economy is likely to contract by 1.9% for the full year.

    Going forward, most economists expect the growth in the fourth quarter to be less exuberant than the previous quarter.

    Mr Wandesforde said: "We're headed for a slower quarter in Q4. Some amount of moderation is to be expected, particularly in biomed and pharmaceutical segments, where the fourth quarter is traditionally for maintenance and downtime. So, we could see some shutdowns leading to volatility in the output, sharp drops in output."

    Mr Seah added: "I think in the fourth quarter this year we should see quarter-on-quarter growth trending down towards a single-digit positive growth."

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    "政府对全年经济预测的上调仍偏向保守。除波动较大的生物医药外,经济的其他领域都能维持增长势头,如电子业显示更多好转迹象,而服务业也出现转折。"

    — 万德斯福德 (Robert Prior-Wandesforde)
    ... 汇丰银行经济师 (HSBC Economist)
    ... 星期二, 13-10-2009

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    Singapore out of recession
    我报
    Tuesday, 13 October 2009

    The economy of Singapore grew by an estimated 0.8% in the three months to September from a year ago, reinforcing the country's recovery from recession, official figures showed yesterday.

    It was the country's first year-on-year expansion in five quarters and was based on July and August data. The estimate is expected to be revised when the full September numbers are available next month.

    'A clear but modest recovery is underway globally, at least for the next three or four quarters,' theMinistry of Trade and Industry (MTI) said in a statement.

    The Government upgraded its full-year growth forecast to a contraction of 2-2.5% - a significant improvement from the previous estimate of a 4-6% contraction.

    'One-off factors such as restocking activities and fiscal stimulus measures will continue to support growth in the near term,' MTI said.

    However, it cautioned that economic activity will 'probably remain below pre-crisis levels' because of the drag on demand in the developed economies.

    On a seasonally adjusted quarter-on-quarter annualised basis, GDP surged 14.9% following a 22% expansion in the second quarter to June, said MTI. It was the second successive quarter-on-quarter growth period.

    'Growth was driven by the continued expansion of biomedical and electronics manufacturing output, and improvements in the trade-related and tourism sectors...on the back of a gradual stabilisation in global economic conditions,' MTI said.

    Mr Song Seng Wun, regional economist with CIMB-GK Research, said Singapore was 'firmly out of recession' with GDP expanding in the third quarter.

    Singapore sank into recession in the second quarter of last year, hurt by falling demand for its exports in major markets.

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    Singapore has passed the worst of the storm, with economy rebounding
    S. Ramesh
    Channel NewsAsia
    Tuesday, 13 October 2009, 1541 hrs


    Motorists travel over the bridge against the view of Singapore skyline.

    Singapore's economy has rebounded sharply and the country is now past the worst of the storm.

    Giving his report card at the NTUC ordinary delegates conference on Tuesday, Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong told the tripartite partners that the Trade and Industry Ministry has raised the growth forecast estimates for 2009 to between -2.5% and -2%.

    He said that though this is still negative, there is good reason to be relieved.

    Mr Lee said the question now was what is coming next and what should Singapore do about it.

    According to the International Monetary Fund, major economies have stabilised and will see slight growth in 2010.

    Mr Lee said Singapore should also see modest but positive growth. But the Prime Minister reminded Singaporeans to keep in mind a less benign scenario.

    He noted that growth so far in the US, Europe, Japan and China has been the result of government spending and when the stimulus ends, their economies may slow again.

    If that happens, then Singapore's growth will also be dampened.

    But even with growth, Mr Lee noted that unemployment will stay up for some time.

    Also, companies will not resume large scale hiring until they are confident of sustained recovery.

    So Mr Lee said Singaporeans must be psychologically prepared for dampened growth or in any event for unemployment to stay up.

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    Quote Originally Posted by kurby
    Analysts are usually over-optimistic and over-pessimistic.....

    I would stick to our PM's comment....
    Althought our PM has revised upward his 2009 forecast, that may still not be a good indication of the economy. A better reading of the economy may be the market itself.

    For example, "Dow passing 10,000" might be a good indication.

    Quote Originally Posted by Reuters

    Dow passes 10,000 mark on earnings optimism
    Leah Schnurr
    Reuters
    New York, New York, U.S.
    Wednesday, October 14, 2009, 5:39 pm U.S. EDT


    A JP Morgan Chase Co. flag flies next to an American flag in New York May 18, 2009. - Photo: Lucas Jackson, Reuters

    The Dow industrials pierced the 10,000 level on Wednesday for the first time in a year on surprisingly robust company results and better-than-expected retail sales.

    With major indexes up more than 1%, the Dow's milestone shows how far the market has come since last year when investors fled collapsing financial markets as the economic outlook soured. Analysts said the more than 50% rise off the 12-year lows hit in March could encourage more investors to buy stocks.

    "Dow 10,000 may be largely psychological, but with tremendous levels of cash on the sidelines this may still be a call to action for investors," said Lawrence Glazer, managing partner at Mayflower Advisors in Boston.

    The Dow Jones industrial average (.DJI) rose 144.80 points, or 1.47%, to 10,015.86. The Standard & Poor's 500 Index (.SPX) gained 18.83 points, or 1.75%, to 1,092.02. The Nasdaq Composite Index (.IXIC) put on 32.34 points, or 1.51%, to 2,172.23.

    Strong results from JPMorgan Chase & Co (JPM.N) and Intel Corp (INTC.O) also bolstered analysts' optimism over the earnings season that is picking up pace.

    A fresh 14-month low for the dollar also helped stocks as investors bet the slumping currency will lift profits of large multinational companies with big overseas sales.


    JPMorgan Chase & Co's (JPM.N) quarterly profit rose sharply, bolstering hopes other major Wall Street banks will report strong results this week. Its stock jumped 3.3% to $47.16 and the S&P financial index (.GSPF) gained 3.4%.

    Chip maker Intel Corp (INTC.O) gained 1.7% to $20.83 a day after reporting a quarterly outlook and results that soared past expectations. Analysts have said signs of improving revenue will be key to the current season.

    A government report showed U.S. retail sales, excluding auto purchases, rose for a second month. The data offered cautious optimism that spending could help support the economy as it struggles out of recession.
    The S&P retail index (.RLX) rose 1.7%.

    Return of 10,000

    The Dow was last at 10,000 in October 2008 when it dropped through that barrier in a selloff on increasing fears about the financial crisis. The index is up 52.9% since the 12-year closing low of early March but is still down 29.3% from its October 2007 record close of 14,164.53.

    The Dow first crossed above 10,000 in late March 1999 as the tech boom accelerated before the bubble popped the following year.

    While the return of 10,000 was greeted with relief, analysts cautioned the economy remains fragile. Light volume also signaled conviction was weak, which makes it easier to push stocks up.

    "It means we've come a long ways in a hurry," said Scott Marcouiller, senior equity market strategist at Wells Fargo Advisors in St. Louis.

    "It is a psychological positive, but it's also a logical spot now for us to take a pause."

    Abbott Laboratories Inc (ABT.N) also cheered investors after it reported profit that topped Wall Street forecasts.

    Abbott was up 3.1% at $51.20.

    Volume was moderate on the New York Stock Exchange at 1.35 billion shares, below last year's estimated daily average of 1.49 billion. On the Nasdaq about 2.37 billion shares traded, above last year's daily average of 2.28 billion.

    Advancing stocks outnumbered declining ones on the NYSE by 2,275 to 763, while advancing stocks beat decliners on the Nasdaq by about 2,028 to 688.

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    waiting for S&p to cross 1200

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    Keppel Land optimistic about property recovery
    The Business Times
    Wednesday, 21 October 2009

    Keppel Land, which saw economic recovery and improved market sentiment increase Q3 profit by 70% year-on-year, is optimistic about the outlook for Singapore’s residential and office markets.

    Earnings for the three months ended September 30, 2009 rose to $78.5 million, from $46.2 million a year ago. Revenue rose 23% to $227.8 million from $185.8 million.

    In Singapore, ‘the low interest rate environment and greater optimism about the economy and job market have continued to improve the market sentiments driving the housing market’, Keppel Land said in a statement on Wednesday.

    The group is also optimistic about its prospects in overseas markets.
    ‘Key Asian markets continued to gain momentum in the third quarter as market sentiments strengthened amid further signs of economic recovery,’ the company said.

    Looking ahead, Keppel Land said that with a strengthened balance sheet after its rights issue raised proceeds of about $700 million, the company is well-positioned to grow through acquisitions. The group’s fund management vehicles K-Reit Asia and Alpha Investment Partners are also pursuing opportunities for growth as they ride on the region’s economic recovery.

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    India's economy could grow 6.5% in 2009
    Agence France-Presse
    New Delhi, Delhi, India
    Wednesday, 21 October 2009

    India's economy has withstood the global financial crisis well and should grow by 6.5% this fiscal year, a top government panel forecast Wednesday.

    The panel, which advises India's Prime Minister Manmohan Singh on economic policy, put the estimated growth range for the country between 6.25% and 6.7% for the fiscal year ending March 31, 2010.

    But "our best estimate is that the economy will grow by 6.5%," C. Rangarajan, chairman of the Economic Advisory Council, said.

    He forecast growth for next year at between 7% and 8%.

    "The economy has weathered the financial turbulence quite well," the former central bank governor told reporters in New Delhi.

    The projected growth rate would make India's economy "possibly the second-fastest growing in the world," he said.

    Asia's third-largest economy had faced the "full fury of the international crisis" last year but this year should face a "global situation that might be better," he added.

    Rangarajan said he expected the central bank would continue its "highly accommodative" monetary policy for the current financial year but that next year would need to change its stance as inflation picks up pace.

    He said the timing of interest rate increases from current record lows would depend on "growth prospects and inflationary pressures."

    The panel forecast that inflation, now still below one percent, would accelerate to six percent by the end of the financial year, stoked by rising food prices as a result of the worst monsoon rains in nearly four decades.

    India's economy grew 6.7% last year, sharply below the annual nine percent levels it had logged during the 3 previous years, as it was hit by the global economic slump.

    The panel forecast India's consolidated fiscal deficit would rise to 10.09% in this financial year from 8.6% last year as a result of stimulus measures to boost the economy.

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    U.S. economy extends recovery
    Agence France-Presse
    Washington, D.C., U.S.
    Wednesday, 21 October 2009, 2:10 pm U.S. EDT


    The U.S. Federal Reserve Building is seen from the air over Washington, D.C.. The U.S. economy is showing more signs of firming in an extension of a "modest" recovery from recession, the Federal Reserve said in its Beige Book report. - Photo: AFP

    US economy is showing more signs of firming in an extension of a 'modest' recovery from recession, the Federal Reserve said in its Beige Book report on Wednesday.

    Yet the economy is being held back by troubles in commercial real estate, offsetting improvement in the residential sector, and by 'weak or mixed' job market conditions, said the report.

    'Reports from the 12 Federal Reserve districts indicated either stabilisation or modest improvements in many sectors since the last report, albeit often from depressed levels,' said the report, to be used at the Nov 3-4 policymaking meeting of the US central bank.

    Leading the more positive sectors were residential real estate and manufacturing, the Beige Book said.

    The report said that 'labour markets were typically characterised as weak or mixed, but with occasional pockets of improvement.'

    The latest official data showed a 0.7% pace of output decline in the second quarter, with the economy nearly emerging from the slump that led to a hefty 6.4% tumble in the first quarter of 2009.

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    Singapore firms hiring again
    Gabriel Chen
    The Straits Times
    Thursday, 22 October 2009


    Led by the healthcare and banking sectors, many employers are upbeat about hiring in Q4. - Photo: Lau FokKong, ST

    More employers in Singapore are expecting to grow their headcount in the last quarter of the year, up sharply from the previous quarter, according to a latest survey.

    Human resources (HR) consultancy Hudson, which does quarterly forecasts on prospects for white-collar workers, polled 600 executives across key business sectors in August.

    Of these, 34% forecast increased hiring in the fourth quarter, up from 26% in the third quarter - the second straight quarterly rise in hiring expectations.

    A similar poll done in May showed that more bosses were more willing to hire again, the first increase in two years since the first three months of 2007.

    The proportion of respondents expecting to reduce headcount has fallen in every sector - just 5% of the firms surveyed said they may shed staff, down from 14% in the earlier three months.

    The hard-hit banking and finance sector is also rebounding robustly, with 43% of firms polled expressing intention to hire, up from 32% in Q3, said the report, noting: 'Banks are responding to the fast-improving market environment by lifting headcount freezes and recruiting staff at all levels and in all areas, from infrastructure to front office.'

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    ...
    Resorts World Sentosa offers 45,000 jobs
    Desiree Tresa Gasper
    The Star / Asia News Network
    Singapore
    Thursday, 22 October 2009



    Resorts World Sentosa, which is expected to open its doors early next year, will provide up to 45,000 job opportunities.

    The resort's assistant director of communications, Robin Goh, said the vast employment opportunities created would also help boost the economic situation in the region.

    "Resorts World Sentosa is a one-of-a-kind destination and will definitely attract much interest," he said during a media familiarisation tour on Tuesday.

    He added that the company had already sent a batch of employees to be trained overseas.

    "They have been sent to Universal Studios in Orlando, United States, for robust training exercises and have returned to share their knowledge with the locals," he said.

    Goh said most Singaporeans did not have experience in the casino or theme park industry as the organisation was the first to open one in the city-state.

    He said various jobs with specific expertise would also be offered to international employees.

    "Employment priority will be given to locals but if we cannot get them, we will open it to those from other countries," he added.

    Resorts World Sentosa CEO Tan Hee Teck said the project, one of the most expensive tourism projects in the world, cost over US$4.4bil.

    "One of the main draws of the resort will be Universal Studios Singapore, which will feature more than 24 different rides for visitors," he said.

    He said the park was expected to generate over S$4.5mil in the first year.

    Universal Studios Singapore includes seven different themed zones such as Ancient Egypt, The Lost World, Far Far Away and Madagascar.

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    Singapore and HK wages seen rising 3% next year
    Reuters
    Hong Kong
    Friday, 23 October 2009

    Jobseekers should start updating their resumes soon as employers in Singapore, China and Hong Kong are ready to hire again.

    Salaries are also set to accelerate across Asia next year as business conditions improve.

    A survey by United States human-resource consultants Hewitt Consultants forecasts that wages in China will jump 6.7% next year after rising only 4.5% this year.

    Pay rises in Hong Kong and Singapore will be more modest at just under 3%.

    Job prospects for executives at multinational companies (MNCs) in these three Asian markets have improved sharply in the past three months, with growing sentiments that Asia's recovery from the global recession will be sustainable, a survey by executive recruiters Hudson Asia showed yesterday.

    In Hong Kong, companies from the media, public-relations and advertising sector are the most bullish - 69% of those polled say they would be hiring, compared with 28% in the May survey.

    In China, 39% of employers say they plan to add staff, up from 27% in May, with companies in banking and finance most optimistic about hiring.

    In Singapore, the health-care and life-sciences sector continues to offer the best hiring opportunities, with 44% of firms preparing to recruit.

    The Hudson quarterly survey covered responses from nearly 2,000 managers at MNCs across industries in the three markets.

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    China Q3 GDP growth rises to 8.9%
    Aileen Wang, Sally Huang, Susan Fenton, Michael Wei and Kirby Chien
    Reuters
    Beijing, China
    Thursday, 22 October 2009, 7.40pm CCT

    China's annual GDP growth accelerated to 8.9% in the third quarter from 7.9% in the second quarter as all sectors of the economy, apart from exports, performed strongly.

    The figures were released a day after the cabinet signaled a shift toward policy normalization by saying that recovery in the world's third-largest economy had now been 'consolidated'.

    Key Points:
    -- Economists had forecast 8.9% Q3 GDP growth yr/yr

    Commentary:
    ..........
    ..........

    Yu Song and Helen Qiao, economists at Goldman Sachs, in a note:
    They said implied sequential quarter-on-quarter annualized growth in GDP was around 10.2% in the third quarter, down from 16.5% in the second quarter.

    "Due to policy measures the government implemented since July that have an evident tightening impact, especially the credit control measures implemented by the CBRC, the slowdown in sequential GDP growth has been more significant than we previously expected. However, the sequential GDP growth level is still respectable and is slightly above our estimated potential growth level.

    "On a sequential basis, both CPI and PPI inflation have been out of negative territory over the past three months. Using this criteria, we believe deflation is probably behind us now.

    "On the other hand, we see limited upside inflationary pressures as long as the government is able to continue to control money and credit supply at the current pace."

    ..........
    ..........

    Wang Hu, an analayst at Guotai Junan Securities in Shanghai:
    "Good figures. Economic growth has picked up very swiftly. There's no doubt that GDP will hit 8% for the whole year. We expect it will be 8.5% and above 10.5% for the whole of 2009 and the fourth quarter, respectively.

    "The yuan will face more upward pressure next year and the pace of its rise against the dollar will accelerate. We expect the yuan to reach 6.7 by the end of 2010.

    "Interest rates are likely to remain steady during the fourth quarter. Looking at 2010, moves in U.S. interest rates will play a big role."

    Xue Hua, analayst at Merchants Securities in Shenzhen:
    "The data match market expectations, and they're good."

    "There won't be an immediate shift in policy, I think, as the CPI is still negative, but some changes are possible, such as a tightening of credit lending. An appreciation of the yuan won't happen so quickly"

    ..........
    ..........

    Background:
    -- Since 1978, China has averaged GDP growth of close to 10% a year, but the government has had to ramp up spending and shift to extremely loose monetary policy to put the country on track to meet its official target of 8% growth in 2009.

    -- That goal looked wildly out of reach at the start of the year. But the government's aggressive fiscal stimulus and record bank lending have boosted activity and confidence alike, making it a certainty now that full-year growth will surpass 8%.

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    Executive hiring in Asia improves sharply - Hudson
    Susan Fenton
    Reuters
    Hong Kong
    Thursday, 22 October 2009, 2:30pm CCT

    Job prospects for executives at multinationals in Greater China and Singapore have improved sharply in the past three months amid growing optimism that Asia's recovery from the global recession will be sustainable, a quarterly survey showed on Thursday.

    "Asia is the first region to emerge from the global recession, causing employers to revise their hiring expectations sharply upwards," said Mike Game, chief executive of executive recruiters Hudson Asia.

    In China, hiring prospects picked up for the first time in more than a year. The proportion of employers in China, Hong Kong and Singapore who plan to cut headcounts within three months is less than half that in a similar survey taken in May. The latest survey was taken in August.

    Hiring expectations have increased most in Hong Kong, where 35% of companies say they expect to recruit staff within three months, up from 22% in May. In media, public relations and advertising, 69% of companies said they would be hiring, compared with 28% in the previous survey.

    In China, 39% of employers said they planned to add staff, up from 27% in the May survey, with companies in banking and finance most bullish about hiring.

    Hong Kong and Singapore pulled out of recession in the second quarter while China on Thursday announced an 8.9% surge in third-quarter GDP, putting it easily within reach of its 8% growth target for this year, economists say.

    Wage Growth

    Salaries are set to accelerate across Asia next year as business conditions improve: a survey by U.S. HR consultants Hewitt Consultants forecasts salaries in China will jump 6.7% next year after rising only 4.5% this year. Pay rises in Hong Kong and Singapore will be more modest at just under 3%.

    In Singapore, 34% of companies in the Hudson survey said they would be hiring soon, up from 26% in the May survey, and only 5% said they would cut staff, compared with 14% in May. The healthcare and life sciences sector continues to offer the best hiring opportunities in Singapore with 44% of companies preparing to add headcount, while the consumer sector has seen a slight fall in hiring expectations since May.

    Singapore employers were most willing to hire candidates who had been unemployed for more than a year, or an extended period of time, while employers in China were least willing to do so, according to Hudson, part of Chicago-based Hudson Highland Group Inc.

    Previous experience and specialist skills were cited as the main reasons to hire the long-term unemployed across the region but, in China, stopping work to obtain a higher qualification was also seen as a valid reason.

    The quarterly survey covered responses from nearly 2,000 managers at multinational companies across industries in the three markets..

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    Strong rebound seen for US home sales
    Home sales forecast to post a 4.9% increase for September as tax credit spurs sales
    Alan Zibel
    Real Estate Writer
    Associated Press
    Washington, DC, US
    Friday, October 23, 2009, 7:11 am US EDT



    With homebuyers rushing to complete their purchases before a tax credit for first-time owners expires, a report Friday is expected to show strong September sales.

    Home resales are expected to show an almost 5% increase to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 5.35 million, up from 5.1 million in August, according to economists polled by Thomson Reuters. If the report meets forecasts it would be the best month for home sales in more than two years.

    The National Association of Realtors' report is scheduled for 10 a.m. EDT.

    The sales jump, however, could be far larger than Wall Street expects, according to a monthly survey of 1,500 real estate agents for Campbell Communications, a research firm. That's because foreclosure sales are booming in cities like Los Angeles, San Diego and Las Vegas.

    "There's a mini-boom going on in the housing market," said Thomas Popik, who conducted the survey for Campbell and expects a double-digit increase.

    First-time homebuyers and investors are snapping up those homes and taking advantage of low mortgage rates. These buyers can also take advantage of a tax credit of 10% of the sales price, up to $8,000, if the deal is completed by the end of November.

    The tax credit is so important to some buyers that they are adding a clause to their contracts, allowing them to back out if the sale doesn't close by Nov. 30.

    While home sales and housing construction have risen steadily after hitting bottom earlier this year, most economists believe that the worst isn't over for home values. In August, the median price was $177,700, down from the peak of $230,300 in July 2006, but still above the bottom of $164,800 in January, according to the Realtors group.

    Prices could see a double dip because rising unemployment is having a ripple effect on foreclosures. The jobless rate, currently at 9.8% is expected to rise as high as 10.5% next year, causing more people to be unable to afford their monthly mortgage payment.

    "There's more supply that's going to come into the marketplace," said Stan Humphries, chief economist at real estate Web site Zillow.com. "That additional supply will outpace demand."

    Some signs of softer prices may already be appearing. A government index released Thursday showed U.S. home prices dipped 0.3% from July to August.

    That drop "supports our view that the housing recovery will be slow and bumpy," wrote Paul Dales, U.S. economist with Capital Economics.

    With concerns about the housing market still prominent, Congress is considering several proposals to extend the tax credit for first-time buyers. Senators Johnny Isakson, R-Ga., and Christopher Dodd, D-Conn., want to extend it through June 30, and expand it to include all home buyers, at an estimated cost of $16.7 billion.

    One potential roadblock, however, emerged this week. There are concerns that some of the 1.5 million applications for the tax credit are fraudulent.

    At a hearing before a House subcommittee Thursday, J. Russell George, the Treasury Department's inspector general for taxes, questioned the legitimacy of some 100,000 claims for the credit, potentially including some illegal immigrants and 580 people under 18. The youngest taxpayers to apply for the credit were 4 years old, his office said.

    While the program has widespread support in Congress, there are growing concerns about the costs. The cause, said Sen. Jack Reed, D-R.I., "is a worthy one." But "I hope we can find ways to pay for it."

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