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Goldman Sachs’ Q1 profit tops forecasts

Goldman Sachs' profit beat forecasts,a further sign that the worst may be over for financial firms.

Written by Reuters | New York |
April 14, 2009 10:18:47 am

Goldman Sachs’ first-quarter profit beat forecasts,a further sign that the worst may be over for financial firms in the eye of the storm,but Singapore devalued its currency after a record GDP fall.

Banking shares in Asia rose on optimism about the US financial sector after Goldman’s earnings while markets such as Hong Kong and Australia also climbed as they played catch up after the Easter holiday.

But other Asian bourses were mixed and US stocks ended little changed amid concerns that profits will be slow to recover elsewhere as economies struggle to resume growth.

US President Barack Obama said efforts to stimulate the US economy with infrastructure projects were “ahead of schedule and under budget”,but data highlighted the size of the challenges policymakers face in reviving trade and growth.

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Gross domestic product in trade-dependent Singapore fell at a seasonally adjusted,annualised pace of 19.7 per cent in first three months of the year,the ministry of trade said on Tuesday.

The city-state’s central bank responded to the weak GDP data and soft export figures by easing monetary policy by effectively devaluing the Singapore dollar.

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