Saturday, April 7th, 2018


Philippines regulator orders pushback in Uber’s shutdown amid ongoing review

MANILA, April 7 — The Philippines’ anti-trust agency said today it has ordered Uber Technologies Inc to continue domestic operations as it reviews the ride hailing firm’s deal to sell its money-losing Southeast Asian business to rival Grab….

Affin Islamic optimistic on securing 40pc share of Islamic banking in 2019

KUALA LUMPUR, April 7 — Affin Islamic Bank Bhd is optimistic on achieving a 40 per cent market share of the Islamic banking finance by 2019, mainly driven by the growth in its small and medium enterprises (SMEs) financing segment. Head of…

US stocks sink more than 2% on trade war fears

NEW YORK: US stocks plunged more than 2% Friday after President Donald Trump warned of tariffs on an additional US$100 billion, (RM387 billion) of Chinese imports, provoking a strong response from Beijing and fanning fears of a full-blown trade war.

Investors were unnerved by the latest broadside from the volatile US president and by China's strident response, which vowed Beijing would stand firm “until the end at any cost”.

“The market is getting more concerned about the possibility of a trade war between the US and China,” said Tom Cahill, portfolio strategist at Ventura Wealth Management.

“The market does not like uncertainty and right now we have a lot of it.”

The Dow finished down 2.3% at 23,932.76, with all 30 members ending in the red. The S&P 500 and tech-rich Nasdaq indices also lost more than two percent.

The barbs over trade overshadowed a lackluster jobs report, which placed US jobs growth at 103,000 in March, well below analyst expectations. Unemployment held steady at 4.1%.

European equity markets also retreated, but not as severely, with Paris, Frankfurt, and London falling half a percentage point or less.

Asian stocks mostly receded on Friday. Tokyo finished in the red, losing 0.4%. There were also losses for Seoul and Sydney, while Shanghai was shut.

Hong Kong however outperformed regional peers with a sizeable 1.1% gain, with the market playing catch-up after Thursday's closure.

Bargaining tactic?

The more muted response overseas likely reflects skepticism that the harsh trade rhetoric between the US and China will be followed up with concrete action.

Some investors have taken solace from signals that the Trump administration may be taking a harsh line as a bargaining tactic towards deal-making with China.

But those hints were absent Friday.

Top White House economic advisor Larry Kudlow, who had repeatedly suggested that US tariffs might not go into effect, reversed himself and warned Friday that the tariff threat is not a negotiating tactic.

Kudlow said that tariffs were still not a certainty and there were some “back channel” talks going on but “any foreign policy can go wrong”.

US stocks deepened further in the afternoon following an interview with Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin and a speech by Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell. analyst Patrick O'Hare said investors were disappointed by the lack of reassurances from Trump administration officials, including Mnuchin, who told CNBC that the administration hoped to negotiate but acknowledged that a trade war was a possibility.

The Mnuchin interview was a “reminder that things are moving in a contentious direction because there are no negotiations and no one is really backing down on either side on the implementation of tariffs”, O'Hare said.

Fed Chair Powell, meanwhile, signaled that the US central bank still plans to press ahead with additional interest rate hikes in 2018, a stance that also disappointed investors.

“The market might have been starting to contemplate that all the trade volatility might lead the Fed to be a little less aggressive with its policy, and at least for today, the Fed chairman didn't give any indication that that was going to be the case,” O'Hare said.

Key figures around 2100 GMT, (5am Malaysia time)

New York – Dow: DOWN 2.3% at 23,932.76 (close)

New York – S&P 500: DOWN 2.2% at 2,604.47 (close)

New York – Nasdaq: DOWN 2.3% at 6,915.11 (close)

London – FTSE 100: DOWN 0.2% at 7,183.64 (close)

Frankfurt – DAX 30: DOWN 0.5% at 12,241.27 (close)

Paris – CAC 40: DOWN 0.4% at 5,258.24 (close)

EURO STOXX 50: DOWN 0.6% at 3,408.10 (close)

Tokyo – Nikkei 225: DOWN 0.4% at 21,567.52 (close)

Hong Kong – Hang Seng: UP 1.1% at 29,833.31 (close)

Euro/dollar: UP at US$1.2281 from US$1.2240 at 2100 GMT Thursday

Dollar/yen: DOWN at 106.92 yen from 107.39

Pound/dollar: UP at US$1.4088 from US$1.4003

Oil – Brent North Sea: DOWN $1.22 at US$67.11 per barrel

Oil – West Texas Intermediate: DOWN US$1.48 at US$62.06 per barrel — AFP

US$1 = RM3.87

Trump says WTO is unfair to the US

WASHINGTON: US President Donald Trump teed up a fight with the World Trade Organization Friday, claiming the 164-country body was biased against the United States.

A day after China asked the WTO to referee a rapidly escalating trade fight with Washington, Trump questioned the organization's impartiality.

“China, which is a great economic power, is considered a Developing Nation within the World Trade Organization,” he tweeted.

“They, therefore, get tremendous perks and advantages, especially over the US Does anybody think this is fair. We were badly represented. The WTO is unfair to the US.”

Trump has repeatedly expressed scepticism about multilateral bodies — from the WTO to the United Nations to NATO — believing they constrain US power.

“Trump has made clear more than once what he thinks of multilateral institutions like the WTO,” said Marie Kasperek of the Atlantic Council.

Trump's critics point out that Washington largely dictated terms inside those organizations, which have promoted a move toward more democratic market economies. — AFP

American Airlines orders 47 Boeing 787s, cancels A350 order

SAN FRANCISCO: American Airlines has ordered 47 Boeing 787 Dreamliners in a deal valued at US$12 billion at list prices while cancelling a major order for Airbus A350s.

The order comprises 22 787-8s scheduled to begin arriving in 2020 and 25 787-9s scheduled to begin arriving in 2023. They will gradually replace Boeing 767s and 777s along with European Airbus A330s, American said Friday.

The sale brings American Airlines' total number of 787s to 89 aircraft. Though the total value is US$12 billion (RM46.44 billion) at list price, the final price paid by airlines is generally lower.

American Airlines said: “As part of the strategy to simplify its fleet, American agreed with Airbus today to terminate its order for 22 A350s, which was originally placed by US Airways,” which it bought in 2013.

“This was a difficult decision between the Boeing 787 and the Airbus A350 and A330neo and we thank both manufacturers for their aggressive efforts to earn more of American's business. In the end, our goal to simplify our fleet made the 787 a more compelling choice,” said American Airlines president Robert Isom.

Chief financial officer Derek Kerr added advantages of carrying common fleet types included “creating less friction in our operation when aircraft swaps are necessary, reducing inventory needs, and creating a more consistent service for customers and team members.”

American Airlines also said it had deferred delivery of 40 Boeing 737 MAX aircraft previously scheduled to arrive between 2020 and 2022. The carrier said the revised schedule “will better align with planned retirements of other narrowbody aircraft.”

The order for US manufacturer Boeing comes in the wake of protectionist trade measures by President Donald Trump, who champions buying from US manufacturers.

“We are extremely honoured that American Airlines is deepening its commitment to the 787 Dreamliner,” said Boeing Commercial Airplanes president Kevin McAllister in a statement. Boeing says it has more than 1,350 orders registered for the 787.

Meanwhile, Airbus announced earlier Friday it recorded 45 net orders during the first three months of 2018 and delivered 121 aircraft. The company said its overall backlog of jetliners to be delivered stood at 7,189 as of March 31. — AFP

Analysts: Bursa Malaysia expected to trade lower next week

KUALA LUMPUR, April 7 — Bursa Malaysia is expected to trade lower next week as cautious sentiment clouds the market with regards to trade war threats between the United States and China. Mercury Securities Analyst, Danny Oh, said from the…

External factors to influence ringgit’s movements, say dealers

KUALA LUMPUR, April 7 — The ringgit’s movements next week are expected to be influenced by external factors, especially economic data from the US, dealers said. FXTM Global Head of Currency Strategy and Market Research, Jameel Ahmad, said…

External factors to influence ringgit’s movements

KUALA LUMPUR: The ringgit's movements next week are expected to be influenced by external factors, especially economic data from the US, dealers said.

FXTM Global Head of Currency Strategy and Market Research, Jameel Ahmad, said the key event would be the latest Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC) minutes and the US inflation reading, which were scheduled for release next week.

“The FOMC minutes will be seen by traders as a high risk announcement, and the ringgit could fluctuate, in either direction, depending on the tone of the Federal Reserve.

“It has appeared recently that the US central bank has softened its stance that there could be four US interest rate rises in 2018 and confirmation of this would be seen as a risk for the US dollar,” he said.

Meanwhile, Oanda Head of Trading Asia-Pacific, Stephen Innes, said the recent release of US jobs report, which came in less-than-expected, should keep the market more disposed to maintain a long ringgit position despite the coming elections.

“With regards to the elections, which would continue to favour a long ringgit through the event, there is no real political risk,” he told Bernama.

Innes said, however, with the Bank Negara Malaysia likely in a little rush to raise interest rates soon due to lower inflation. Hence, I expect the ringgit will be trade between 3.8550 and 3.8850 levels for next week,” he said.

For the week just-ended, the ringgit was traded between 3.8600 and 3.8680, mainly influenced by concerns over a US-China trade war, released of US non-farm payroll data and Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Abdul Razak's announcement on the dissolution of the Dewan Rakyat.

On a Friday-to-Friday basis, the local note finished easier against the greenback at 3.8680/8720 from 3.8620/8650 last week.

However, the ringgit traded firmer against a basket of major currencies.

It strengthened against the yen to 3.6035/6076 from 3.6369/6404 last Friday and appreciated against the euro to 4.7352/7413 from 4.7603/7659.

The ringgit rose vis-a-vis the British pound to 5.4195/4266 from 5.4246/4307 last week and advanced against the Singapore dollar to 2.9345/9387 versus 2.9476/9511 previously. — Bernama

Morgan Stanley CEO James Gorman pay up 20pc in 2017

NEW YORK, April 7 — Morgan Stanley Chief Executive James Gorman’s overall pay rose 20 per cent to US$27 million (RM104.5 million) last year during a period that saw the firm’s net revenues rise 10 per cent and pre-tax profit margin rise 18…

China’s state media says US tariff ‘waywardness’ to end in defeat

SHANGHAI, April 7 — China’s official Xinhua news agency said today that US “waywardness” in its tit-for-tat tariff exchange will only end in defeat. China warned yesterday it was ready with a “fierce counter strike” of fresh trade…