December, 2018


PPI down 2.9% in Nov

PETALING JAYA: The Producer Price Index (PPI) for local production decreased 2.9% on a year-on-year basis in November 2018 as compared to 0.7% in October 2018, mainly due to agriculture, forestry & fishing (-22.7%), manufacturing (-1.8%) and water supply (-0.1%).

“Conversely, the index of mining and electricity & gas supply rose 4.5% and 1.2% respectively,“ Statistics Department chief statistician Datuk Seri Dr Mohd Uzir Mahidin said in a statement today.

As compared to the previous month, the PPI for local production registered a decline of 2.8% in November 2018 which was contributed by the index of mining (-16.4%), agriculture, forestry & fishing (-6.4%) and manufacturing (-0.7%). Water supply and electricity & gas supply increased 0.5% and 0.3% respectively.

Meanwhile, the PPI for local production by stage of processing (SOP) declined 2.8% in November 2018 from the previous month, led by the decline of all indices of which crude materials for further processing (-10.9%), finished goods (-0.9%) and intermediate materials, supplies & components (-0.6%).

On a yearly basis, the PPI for local production by SOP for November 2018 dropped 2.9%. Index of crude materials for further processing, finished goods and intermediate materials, supplies & components recorded a decrease of 6.9%, 2.6% and 1.5% respectively.

Bank Negara official reserve assets at US$102.03b at end-Nov

KUALA LUMPUR: Bank Negara Malaysia’s (BNM) international reserve assets amounted to US$102.03 billion, while other foreign currency assets amounted to US$51.6 million as at end-November 2018.

The central bank said in a statement that for the next 12 months, the pre-determined short-term outflows of foreign currency loans, securities and deposits, which include among others scheduled repayment of external borrowings by the government and repayment of maturity proceeds from the foreign currency Bank Negara Interbank Bills would amount to US$2.97 billion.

Meanwhile, the short forward positions amounted to US$21.71 billion, reflecting the management of ringgit liquidity in the money market.

“In line with the practice adopted since April 2006, the data excludes projected foreign currency inflows arising from interest income and the drawdown of project loans amounting to US$2.57 billion in the next 12 months,” BNM said.

The only contingent short-term net drain on foreign currency assets are government guarantees of foreign currency debt due within one year, amounting to US$108.1 million.

“There are no foreign currency loans with embedded options, no undrawn, unconditional credit lines provided by or to other central banks, international organisations, banks and other financial institutions.”

BNM also does not engage in foreign currency options vis-à-vis ringgit.

Overall, the detailed breakdown of international reserves under the IMF SDDS format indicates that as at end-November 2018, Malaysia’s reserves remain usable, BNM added.

Malaysia sees total foreign outflow of RM11.65b

KUALA LUMPUR, Dec 31 — Malaysia has seen a total foreign net outflow of RM11.65 billion from Bursa Malaysia as at December 28, 2018, registering the largest yearly foreign net outflow since 2015, says Malaysian Industrial Development…

Scientex second top loser after reporting lower Q1 earnings

PETALING JAYA: Scientex Bhd was the second top loser on the local bourse this morning after it posted a 25.9% lower net profit for the first quarter ended Oct 31, 2018.

At 11.43am, Scientex’s share price was lower by 33 sen or 3.61% to RM8.82 with 540,400 shares changing hands.

The company’s net profit fell 25.9% to RM53.67 million from RM72.40 million a year ago mainly due to lower revenue recognised by the property division.

Its revenue rose 9% to RM713.64 million compared with RM655.01 million recorded in the preceding year corresponding quarter contributed

mainly by the manufacturing division.

Top Glove shares up on factory plan for Turkey

KUALA LUMPUR, Dec 31 — Shares of Top Glove Corporation Bhd traded higher following news that the rubber glove manufacturer may expand its business in Turkey. The company, according to founder Tan Sri Lim Wee Chai, planned to set up a factory in…

Ghosn's detention extended to Jan 11, Japanese media reports

TOKYO, Dec 31 — Former Nissan boss Carlos Ghosn will be spending the beginning of 2019 behind bars after a Tokyo court today extended his detention through to January 11, local media reported. The decision, reported by public broadcaster NHK and…

China's factory activity falls for first time in 2.5 years, official PMI shows

BEIJING, Dec 31 — China's factory activity contracted in December for the first time in more than two years, in a further sign of slackening demand and rising pressure on the world's second-largest economy as it heads into 2019. The official…

Bursa rises on year-end window-dressing buying

KUALA LUMPUR, Dec 31 — Bursa Malaysia opened higher on the last trading day of 2018, in line with its Asian peers, and supported mainly by window dressing activities amid thin holiday season trading. At 9.01am, the benchmark FTSE Bursa Malaysia…

Window-dressing activities push Bursa Malaysia higher at opening

KUALA LUMPUR: Bursa Malaysia opened higher on the last trading day of 2018, in line with its Asian peers, and supported mainly by window dressing activities amid thin holiday season trading.

At 9.01 am, the benchmark FTSE Bursa Malaysia KLCI (FBM KLCI) gained 1.23 points to 1,693.30 from Friday’s close of 1,692.07.

The index opened 1.69 points stronger at 1,693.76.

Market breadth was positive, as gainers thumped losers 95 to 28, while 98 counters were unchanged, 1,652 untraded and 44 others suspended.

Turnover stood at 34.21 million shares worth RM9.15 million.

However, the opening number for today was slightly lower as compared to that on the last trading day of 2017 (Dec 29) at 1,780.90.

Oanda Head of Trading Asia-Pacific Stephen Innes said towards end-2018, Asian stocks climbed higher in tracking the positive news on the US-China trade war update.

It was reported that US President Donald Trump and his Chinese counterpart, Xi Jinping on Saturday, had discussed trade issues, whereby both are expected to negotiate a win-win agreement.

“Basically 2018 saw the global growth slowdown with equity markets under pressure. Among the reasons were the escalating US-China trade war and other geopolitical fears, coupled with the volatility in commodity prices,” Innes told Bernama.

He said as the market welcomed the new year, there was no doubt that these factors would continue.

“But, we foresee a reduction in trade tensions between the US and China to be a positive indicator for the global market. The Federal Reserve’s decision to pause interest rate hikes until at least mid-2019 is good as it should weaken the dollar and that is also good for local bond and equity markets,” he added.

Among heavyweights, Maybank and Tenaga rose two sen each to RM9.45 and RM13.58 respectively, Public Bank was flat at RM24.88 and Petronas Chemicals fell nine sen to RM9.23.

Of actives, Hubline and Pansar were each flat at 4.5 sen and 80 sen respectively, Sapura Energy was up by one sen to 29.5 sen, with Bumi Armada half-a-sen weaker at 15.5 sen.

The FBM Emas Index gained 12.46 points to 11,549.76, the FBMT 100 Index increased 12.64 points to 11,467.22, the FBM Emas Shariah Index rose 5.93 points to 11,515.35 and the FBM Ace Index was 8.2 points better at 4,268.40.

The FBM 70 advanced 32.35 points to 13,123.87.

Sector-wise, the Finance Index inched up 19.63 points to 17,361.32, the Plantation Index went up 0.06 of-a-point to 6,897.80, but the Industrial Products and Services Index edged down 0.41 of-a-point to 166.40.

Gold futures contracts on Bursa Malaysia Derivatives were untraded in the early session today on lack of demand.

At 9.31 am, December 2018 and January 2019 were pegged at RM170.30 per gramme respectively, February 2019 stood at RM170.40 per gramme, while March 2019 was flat at RM170.50 per gramme.

Volume was nil, while open interest amounted to 26 contracts.

At 9.30 am, the price of physical gold was 30 sen lower at RM164.86 per gramme. — Bernama

US dollar steady, Aussie gains on US-China trade developments

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