Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Global Market Weekly Review, 7 - 13 August 2011

UK manufacturing unexpectedly fell in June and the trade gap widened, adding to evidence that the economic recovery is faltering. Factory output declined 0.4% from the previous month, when it rose 1.8%. The median forecast of 24 economists in a survey was for a 0.2% gain. The goods trade gap widened as falling exports outpaced a drop in imports.

Singapore cut its forecast for export growth this year as a struggling US economy and Europe’s debt crisis threaten overseas sales, valued at more than half of the island’s gross domestic product. Gross domestic product fell an annualized 6.5% in the second quarter from the previous three months, compared with a preliminary estimate of 7.8%.

Claims for US unemployment benefits unexpectedly dropped last week to a four month low, signaling the job market was being hampered by a lack of hiring rather than more firings. The number of applications for unemployment insurance payments fell 7,000 in the week ended 6-Aug-2011 to 395,000, the fewest since early April. The median forecast of 48 economists projected claims would increase to 405,000. The Labor Department revised the prior week’s figure to 402,000 from the initially reported 400,000.

The US trade deficit unexpectedly increased in June to the highest level since October 2008 as a slump in exports exceeded a decline in shipments from overseas. The gap widened 4.4% to US$53.1bn from US$50.8bn in the prior month. The deficit exceeded all estimates in a News survey of economists in which the median was US$48bn. The May shortfall was revised from a previously reported US$50.2bn. US exports decreased by 2.3% to US$170.9bn as shipments of goods declined more than services. Imports dropped by 0.8% to US$223.9bn in June.

Source: ING Funds Berhad

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