Ahad, 13 April 2014

The Star Online: Business

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The Star Online: Business

Don’t allow yourself to be in a financially abusive relationship

Posted: 13 Apr 2014 09:00 AM PDT

HAVE you come across anyone who is in a financially abusive relationship?

We have often heard of a physically or emotionally abusive relationship but a financially abusive one is very rare. Perhaps it's because of the complicated matter involving money, relationships and sometimes shame.

And these people suffer in silence.

What is a financially abusive relationship?

It's a type of financial disorder that happens when one of the couple in a relationship solely controls the money and the other is left to be financially dependent on him or her.

Most financial dependents are still women whose husbands earn a regular income and manage the family finances. Even for women who do work and bring home the money,theytoo can be in a financially abusive situation if they are continuously expected to provide for a lazy spouse who refuses to find a job or one who has asked for financial aid from her every now and then.

Some signs of being in such a relationship are as follows:

You need to frequently ask for money from your partner

You are discouraged from earning an income

Your partner controls your bank account

Your name is used forloans which are not being serviced regularly

You need to keep on bailing yourspouse out from bad debts

Your stockbroking account is being used for bad trades

The important thing is to recognise it if you are in such a situation and handle it before it gets worse.

The first thing you can do isto learn to be financially literate. Understand how your home finances work
and where they go to. Always question why you are required to sign documents that involve money and 
ifin doubt,seek advice from a financial buddy.

Know where your partner's documents are kept- insurance policies, copy of the will, investment and banking accounts.

If you earn an income, accumulate your savings in your own investment account and be proactive to work out a family financial plan.

Share financial moments frequently with your partner and encourage an open financial communication channelfrom the start.

Don't allow yourself to be in a financially abusive relationship.

It's always better to take charge of your own financial life.

The writer can be contacted at info@successconcepts.biz

Stocks slip on Wall St gloom, yen holds firm

Posted: 13 Apr 2014 07:02 PM PDT

TOKYO: Asian share markets gave up more ground in early trade on Monday after a dismal week on Wall Street, helping underpin the safe-haven yen.

Ongoing tensions in Ukraine also sapped investors' appetite for risk. Ukraine gave pro-Russian separatists a Monday morning deadline to disarm or face a "full-scale anti-terrorist operation" by its armed forces, raising the risk of a military confrontation with Moscow.

European Union foreign ministers will hold talks later on Monday about tougher sanctions against Russia.

MSCI's broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan shed 0.2 percent, pulling further away from five-month highs hit on Thursday.

But Japan's Nikkei stock average reversed initial losses and ticked up 0.3 percent, clawing its way off six-month lows after shedding 7.3 percent last week. That was their biggest weekly fall since devastating earthquake and tsunami in March 2011.

Gains were likely to be tentative, though, as some investors braced for the possibility of further losses on Wall Street.

"Some are worried that a U.S. bubble in equities markets might be corrected, because of the ongoing tapering" of monetary stimulus by the U.S. Federal Reserve, said Kyoya Okazawa, head of global equities at BNP Paribas in Tokyo.

S&P 500 e-mini futures were down about 0.2 percent early on Monday. U.S. stocks slid in a volatile session on Friday, with the Nasdaq closing below the 4,000 mark for the first time since early February as investors bailed out of high-flying technology and biotech shares.

The low-yielding yen benefited from the heightened risk aversion. The dollar was down about 0.1 percent in early trading at 101.56 yen, after touching a 3-1/2 week low of 101.32 yen on Friday, a far cry from a 2-1/2 month high of 104.13 yen set on April 4.

The dollar index steadied, rising about 0.2 percent to 79.633, though April 4's seven-week high of 80.599 remained a distant memory after the greenback's battering last week as U.S. stocks tumbled.

"Given the technical damage inflicted on the dollar and the decline in U.S. interest rates, it is tempting to look for the greenback's losses to accelerate," said Marc Chandler, global head of currency strategy at Brown Brothers Harriman.

"We are more inclined to think that rather than breaking out, the dollar simply moved to the lower end of its ranges. This means that the greenback may do a bit better in the days ahead as participants will likely be denied fresh incentives," he said in a note to clients.

The dollar got some help against the euro from European Central Bank officials, whose comments rekindled speculation about more easing in the euro zone.

The euro fell about 0.3 percent to 140.66 yen. Against the dollar, it shed about 0.2 percent to $1.3851, moving away from a 3 1/2 week peak of $1.3906 hit on Friday.

ECB President Mario Draghi on Saturday told a news conference that "a further strengthening of the exchange rate would require further stimulus."

The ECB is ready to make asset purchases if it deems them necessary to counter a prolonged period of low inflation, ECB Executive Board member Benoit Coeure said on Sunday. ECB governing council member Christian Noyer said on Monday in an interview with daily newspaper Le Figaro that euro weakening was desirable.

Spot gold XAU= benefited from the move toward safe-haven assets, adding about 0.6 percent to $1,326.50 an ounce, after earlier marking a new three-week high.

U.S. crude for May delivery added 0.5 percent to $104.26 per barrel, bolstered by fears that the Ukraine situation could escalate. - Reuters

Singapore sticks to tight monetary policy, economy slows in Q1

Posted: 13 Apr 2014 06:40 PM PDT

SINGAPORE: Singapore's central bank stuck to its tight monetary policy stance on Monday despite weaker growth in the first quarter, saying core inflation will remain elevated as the economy grows at a moderate pace this year.

In a widely expected decision, the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) said it will maintain its policy of allowing a "modest and gradual" appreciation of the Singapore dollar, with no changes to the slope, width or centre of the policy band.

The MAS trimmed its forecast for headline inflation in 2014 to 1.5-2.5 percent, down from 2-3 percent previously, but kept its forecast for core inflation, which excludes the changes in the prices of cars and accommodation, unchanged at 2-3 percent.

The Singapore dollar dipped briefly after the MAS statement, but much of the weakness appeared to be linked to a broadly stronger U.S. dollar. It was last trading down 0.3 percent to 1.2521.

"The fact that we've seen the headline inflation forecast come off, I don't think it's too much of a surprise. It's important to note that core inflation was kept the same," said Daniel Wilson, an economist for ANZ.

"The fact that core is still the same signals that inflation pressure is still on their mind," he added.

Commenting on its outlook for headline inflation, the MAS said imputed rentals on owner-occupied accommodation are expected to stabilise and the impact of car prices on inflation will be negligible for the whole of 2014.

Core inflation, meanwhile, is expected to pick up in coming months, the central bank said.

"Barring a significant shock in the external environment, the Singapore economy should expand at a moderate pace over the course of the year. Wage pressures will persist and firms are likely to pass on business costs to consumer prices. Consequently, MAS Core Inflation is expected to stay elevated," the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) said in its half-yearly statement.

"MAS will therefore maintain its policy of a modest and gradual appreciation of the S$NEER policy band," the MAS said, adding that it was keeping the slope, the width and the centre of the band unchanged.

The MAS had been widely expected to maintain its policy of allowing a "modest and gradual" appreciation of the Singapore dollar to guard against inflationary pressures, as core inflation was expected to rise later this year due to wage cost pressures from a tight labour market.

Singapore manages monetary policy by controlling the exchange rate, rather than borrowing costs, because trade dominates the economy. MAS lets its dollar rise or fall against the currencies of its main trading partners within an undisclosed trading band.

The central bank's latest statement on policy came as an advance estimate of first-quarter gross domestic product (GDP) showed that Singapore's economy grew 0.1 percent in the first quarter from the previous quarter on a seasonally adjusted, annualised basis.

That matched the median forecast in a Reuters survey of 0.1 percent, and was a sharp slowdown form 6.1 percent growth in the fourth quarter of 2013.

Growth in the latest three months was hit by an annualised 1.8 percent quarter-on-quarter contraction in the services sector, from 6.1 percent growth in the fourth quarter of 2013.

Slowing momentum in wholesale and retail trade as well as finance and insurance sectors crimped activity in the service sector.

The economy expanded 5.1 percent from a year ago, the government said, matching market expectations and down slightly from a 5.5 percent growth in the fourth quarter.

Singapore's trade-dependent economy is seen likely to be underpinned this year by an expected pick-up in U.S. and European growth.

Still, the city-state's economy could face a bumpy road ahead, given concerns about a slowdown in China and possible spillover effects from the U.S. Federal Reserve's ongoing tapering of its monetary stimulus.  - Reuters
Kredit: www.thestar.com.my

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