Industrial Production Falls In Singapore

[B]Ind[/B][B]ustrial Production in Singapore [/B]surprisingly declined in the month of March, for the first time in well over two years. According to the release, manufacturing in the Asian economy, declined 2.9 percent in the year on year comparison versus a consensus estimate pitting the figure to rise by 3.3 percent. Subsequently, the monthly comparison plunged by 9.3 percent, a total reversal of the 9.4 percent growth in the previous month. Unfortunately, manufacturing weakness will likely aid economists in lowering growth forecasts, some of which have already been set from the beginning of the year. Notably, pharmaceutical output plunged by 25.8 percent in the month, continuing on the recent longer term downtrend seen in the past quarter. Ultimately, the negative report weighed on the currency, helping to lift the pair through to the 1.5170 figure.

[B]Stock markets in Singapore [/B]were unfazed by the news, joining other regional stock markets, as investors swept in to break a two day downstreak. This time around developers led advancers on the day with Keppel Land Ltd. helping to boost overall market sentiment. The company reported first quarter profit that vaulted by a whopping 72 percent to S$62.5 million on sales in the country. Shares of Keppel climbed 50 cents, jumping 5.9 percent to S$9. Additionally benefiting from higher earnings were shares in Venture Corp. The country’s biggest electronics manufacturer advanced after it was announced that earnings for the quarter topped consensus estimates. First quarter profit advanced by 43 percent to S$49.4 million, with most of the rise attributed to the contribution of the company’s recent purchase of GES International Ltd.