Friday, August 2nd, 2019

 

Wall Street drops to one-month low on trade, growth fears

WASHINGTON, Aug 2 — Wall Street’s main indexes sank to one-month lows today after a sharp escalation in US-China trade tensions and tepid job growth in July reinforced fears of a global economic slowdown. The Labour Department said nonfarm…


Wall Steet drops to one-month low on trade, growth fears

WASHINGTON, Aug 2 — Wall Street’s main indexes sank to one-month lows today after a sharp escalation in US-China trade tensions and tepid job growth in July reinforced fears of a global economic slowdown. The Labour Department said nonfarm…


US job creation slows to 164,000 in July; unemployment steady

WASHINGTON, Aug 2 — The United States continued to add new jobs last month but at a slower pace, more signs the economy is weakening, although the jobless rate held steady, the government reported today. US employers added a net 164,000 workers in…


US trade deficit steady at US$55.2b in June as exports sink

WASHINGTON, Aug 2 — America’s mammoth trade deficit held steady in June as foreign demand for US goods and services weakened across the board, according to government data released today. The falling exports and deteriorating trade picture comes…


White House: Trump to make EU trade announcement today

WASHINGTON, Aug 2 — US President Donald Trump will make a trade announcement about the European Union later today, according to a notice from the White House issued late last night. Trump's daily schedule said there was an announcement scheduled…


Ringgit breaches 4.15 mark against US dollar

KUALA LUMPUR: The ringgit began the month of August on the back foot, breaching the 4.15 mark against the US dollar for the first time since June this year.

At 6pm, the local unit lost 110 basis points to end at 4.1550/1600 against the greenback from Thursday’s close of 4.1440/1470.

FXTM market analyst Han Tan said the weaker ringgit was dampened by the firmer US dollar, fuelled by US Federal Reserve chairman Jerome Powell’s convoluted policy guidance, following the first US interest rate cut of 25 basis-point since 2008.

“Risk sentiment soured after US President Donald Trump threatened more tariffs on Chinese goods that could choke global trade further,“ he told Bernama in an email today.

In the face of such strong external headwinds, Tan opined that the downcast readings on Malaysia’s June external trade figures offered scant support for the ringgit.

The Ministry of International Trade and Industry, in a statement today, said Malaysia’s exports down 3.1% to RM76.17 billion in June 2019, with imports 9.2% lower at RM65.91 billion, bringing the total trade to RM142.1 billion, a 6% decrease compared with that of June 2018.

At the closing bell, the ringgit also traded lower against a basket of major currencies.

It slid against the Singapore dollar to 3.0168/0215 from 3.0134/0167 on Thursday and weakened against the yen to 3.8864/8922 from 3.7984/8021.

Vis-a-vis the pound, the local unit fell to 5.0379/0457 from 5.0126/0179 and it depreciated against the euro to 4.6104/6176 from 4.5741/5779 yesterday. – Bernama


Ringgit ends lower, breaches 4.15 mark against US dollar

KUALA LUMPUR, Aug 2 — The ringgit began the month of August on the back foot, breaching the 4.15 mark against the US dollar for the first time since June this year. At 6pm, the local unit lost 110 basis points to end at 4.1550/1600 against the…


ECRL: Calls for tenders to local contractors to commence in Q4

PETALING JAYA: Calls for tenders to local contractors for the civil works packages of the East Coast Rail Link (ERCL) will begin in the fourth quarter of 2019, with a total of 331 local contractors shortlisted as potential tenderers, said Malaysia Rail Link Sdn Bhd (MRL).

This follows the call for submission of pre-qualification documents on May 29 and 30 by China Communications Construction Company Ltd (CCCC) to identify potential local subcontractors for the 40% civil works (excluding tunnel works) portion of the project.

“All shortlisted companies are expected to be notified in writing before end-August 2019 by CCCC who is the engineering, procurement, construction and commissioning contractor for the 640km ECRL project,” MRL said in a statement today.

MRL CEO Datuk Seri Darwis Abdul Razak (pix) said the tender packages to be issued for the 40% civil works would involve the 223km stretch from Dungun to Mentakab where the rail alignment has been finalised.

He said tenders for local contractors would continuously be called throughout the construction period of the ECRL and further tenders will be called once both the realignment from Kota Bharu to Dungun and new Southern alignment between Mentakab and Port Klang have been firmed up.

“Completion of the ECRL by end of 2026 also hinges on the effective participation of local contractors in ECRL’s civil works which includes earthworks, foundation works, structural works, soil improvement works and road works,” he added.

The pre-qualification exercise was opened to CIDB registered companies from grades G3 to G7 with a minimum two-star SCORE rating. A total of 1,321 Malaysian construction companies participated, of which 331 were shortlisted.

Of the 331 companies shortlisted, 164 are CIDB G7 companies and 69 are CIDB G4 companies, while 45 are CIDB G3 companies. The remaining companies that made the cut are 33 CIDB G5 and 20 CIDB G6 companies.

Of the 331 companies, 234 are Bumiputera companies. The shortlisted companies were evaluated based on track record, financial capabilities, technical personnel, and plant and equipment.

MRL and CCCC had signed a supplementary agreement on April 12, 2019, paving the way for the revival of the ECRL project. The new deal involves a reduction in construction cost to RM44 billion from RM65.5 billion while local participation of civil works rose to 40% from 30% previously.

Prior to the suspension of the project, local companies comprising suppliers, contractors and consultants were appointed by CCCC for preliminary works. These contracts were suspended following the suspension of the project on July 3, 2018.

“Nevertheless, with the resumption of the ECRL project, CCCC will honour the respective contracts and enable the local companies concerned to resume work,” said MRL.

MRL, a wholly owned subsidiary of the Minister of Finance Incorporated, is the project and asset owner of ECRL. Upon completion in December 2026, the rail network will link Kota Bharu to Putrajaya in about four hours.


Bursa ends lower as US markets underwhelm

KUALA LUMPUR, Aug 2 — Bursa Malaysia ended trading on a weak note today in all index-linked counters, except the real estate investment trusts (REIT) index, and in line with regional peers who were dragged down by the…


Bursa Malaysia ends lower, CI down 0.75%

KUALA LUMPUR: Bursa Malaysia ended trading on a weak note today in all index-linked counters, except the real estate investment trusts (REIT) index, and in line with regional peers who were dragged down by the lacklustre overnight performance of US markets, said a dealer.

The benchmark FTSE Bursa Malaysia KLCI (FBM KLCI) further lost 0.75% or 12.31 points to finish at 1,626.76 from Thursday’s close of 1,639.07.

The FBM KLCI, which opened 7.68 points weaker at 1,631.39, moved between 1,623.66 and 1,631.42 throughout the day.

On the broader market, there were 697 losers to 209 gainers, while 341 counters remained unchanged, 650 untraded and 28 others suspended.

Turnover fell to 2.22 billion units worth RM1.76 billion from Thursday’s close of 2.45 billion units worth RM2.02 billion.

Inter-Pacific Securities Sdn Bhd head of research Pong Teng Siew told Bernama the sharp overnight drop on Wall Street was a surprise as the US-China trade dispute was thrust back into the spotlight.

“Investors were quick to develop an adverse reaction to US President Donald Trump’s tweet that he would impose an additional 10% tariff on US$300 billion in Chinese imports,” he said.

On Bursa, Pong said Malaysia’s trade data for June, which recorded a decline in exports and imports, also led some investors to move to the sidelines amid an increased weak global sentiment.

The Ministry of International Trade and Industry (MITI) in a statement today said Malaysia’s June trade contracted by 6% from the same month of 2018 to RM142.08 billion.

It said exports were down by 3.1% to RM76.17 billion, with imports 9.2% lower at RM65.91 billion.

Meanwhile, among heavyweights, Maybank, Public Bank and PChem fell four sen each to RM8.65, RM21.78 and RM7.43 respectively, Tenaga eased 18 sen to RM13.86 and IHH dipped three to RM5.73.

As for the actives, Netx was flat at 1.5 sen, KNM slid one sen to 39.5 sen and Ekovest dropped half-a-sen to 83.5 sen.

The FBM Emas Index shrank 95.28 points to 11,516.79, the FBMT 100 Index narrowed 91.28 points to 11,345.00 and the FBM Emas Shariah Index slumped 122.14 points to 11,926.52.

The FBM 70 was down 138.16 points to 14,356.22 and the FBM Ace lost 84.10 points at 4,689.34.

Sector-wise, the Financial Services Index gave up 82.50 points to 15,964.87, the Plantation Index trimmed 33.77 points to 6,689.17 and the Industrial Products and Services Index slid 1.03 points to 154.22.

Main Market volume narrowed to 1.32 billion shares valued at RM1.58 billion versus 1.52 billion shares worth RM1.83 billion on Thursday.

Warrants turnover increased to 506.77 million units worth RM122.91 million from 462.54 million units valued at M104.86 million.

Volume on the ACE Market fell to 385.79 million shares valued at RM55.37 million against 471.70 million shares worth RM84.90 million previously.

Consumer products and services accounted for 218.25 million shares traded on the Main Market, industrial products and services (253.84 million), construction (111.97 million), technology (105.01 million), SPAC (nil), financial services (45.27 million), property (77.94 million), plantations (15.74 million), REITs (24.91million), closed/fund (10,400), energy (296.09 million), healthcare (34.49 million), telecommunications and media (101.27 million), transportation and logistics (29.64 million) and utilities (15.02 million). – Bernama