Friday, September 27th, 2019


S&P, Nasdaq dragged down by Micron’s downbeat outlook

NEW YORK, Sept 27 — The S&P 500 and Nasdaq slipped today, pulled lower by a slide in Micron shares after the chipmaker blamed US-China trade tensions for its downbeat first-quarter profit forecast, but gains in financials kept the Dow in…

EU ready to act alone on digital tax if no global deal in 2020

NEW YORK, Sept 27 — European Union commissioners-designate said the bloc should agree on a digital tax if no deal on the matter was reached at a global level by the end of next year, ramping up pressure on multinationals accused of paying too…

Wells Fargo names Charles Scharf as new chief executive

NEW YORK, Sept 27 — Wells Fargo today named Charles Scharf as its chief executive, making good on a promise to appoint an outsider as it tries to pivot from a number of scandals. Scharf, who has been chief executive of Bank of New York Mellon,…

US inflation sees August heat; defence lifts manufacturing

WASHINGTON, Sept 27 — A key component of the Federal Reserve’s preferred inflation measure of ticked higher in August for the third month in a row, according to government data released today. The upward price pressures are likely to heighten…

Ringgit snaps 4-day losing streak on FTSE Russell decision

KUALA LUMPUR: The ringgit snapped four days of losses to end the week firmer against the US dollar after index provider FTSE Russell decided to maintain Malaysian bonds on its fixed-income watchlist.

At 6pm, the local note closed at 4.1860/1900 against the greenback, improving 70 basis points from Thursday’s close of 4.1930/1980.

FXTM market analyst Han Tan said the ringgit had weakened alongside most Asian currencies for the week, as risk aversion fuelled the stronger US dollar narrative.

“The decision by FTSE Russell to keep Malaysian bonds on its benchmark World Government Bond Index (WGBI) is supportive of the ringgit in the interim,“ he told Bernama.

However, Tan said the risk of expulsion lingered on, as investors continued to eye how else policymakers might improve market liquidity and accessibility.

At the close, the ringgit also traded higher against other major currencies.

It rose against the Singapore dollar to 3.0292/0325 from 3.0347/0392 on Thursday and advanced against the Japanese yen to 3.8774/8818 from 3.8958/9011 yesterday.

Vis-a-vis the euro, the local unit strengthened to 4.5732/5793 from 4.5842/5914 while against the British pound, it improved to 5.1433/1499 from 5.1658/1736 yesterday.

Meanwhile, in a note today, MIDF Amanah Investment Bank Bhd Research (MIDF Research) said news that Malaysia bonds stayed on FTSE Russell’s watchlist had provided positive sentiment to the ringgit, despite a further update of the watchlist to be provided in the next interim review in March 2020.

Therefore, it expected the local note to gradually appreciate against the greenback towards the end of the year.

The research firm said the estimate would also be supported by the expansionary Budget 2020 to be announced on Oct 11, coupled with the resumption of US-China trade talks from Oct 10-11, which would slightly calm the ongoing tensions.

“Factoring all that, we foresee the ringgit trading at 4.15 versus the greenback by end-2019.

“Similarly, we also expect the local note to average at 4.15 against the US dollar for 2019,“ it said, adding that year-to-date, the ringgit averaged at 4.13 against the greenback. — Bernama

Bursa Malaysia ends lower on heavyweight selling pressure

KUALA LUMPUR: Bursa Malaysia ended the week lower as most blue chip stocks were under selling pressure due to global economic anxiety and the lack of fresh local catalysts to act as a market drivers.

At 5pm, the benchmark FTSE Bursa Malaysia KLCI (FBM KLCI) declined 8.86 points or 0.55 per cent to 1,584.14 compared to yesterday’s close of 1,593.00 after trading between 1,583.45 to 1,592.05 throughout the day.

The index opened 2.76 points lower at 1,590.24.

The market breadth between losers and gainers widened to 482 and 287 respectively, with 432 counters unchanged, 800 untraded and 71 others suspended.

Turnover stood at 1.88 billion shares worth RM1.32 billion.

An analyst told Bernama that heavyweight stocks, especially financial-related counters as well as government-linked, will be the first to react to uncertainties in the equity market.

Citing Maybank, Petronas-related counters and Sime Darby Plantation as examples, she said that the key index was dragged down by the companies’ performance due to their higher weightage in the composite index.

“A strong new catalyst is needed to push the market for it to be on the positive track in the coming weeks. If not, it will continue to trade sideways, coupled with the global economic downtrend.

“With Malaysian bonds being retained in the FTSE World Government Bond Index (WGBI) watchlist until the next review in March 2020, it will be a challenge to minimise foreign outflow,“ she said.

At the close, Maybank and Petronas Gas slipped 10 sen to RM8.60 and RM16.48, respectively, Sime Darby Plantation fell eight sen to RM4.80 while Petronas Chemicals gained one sen to RM7.53 due to last minute buying.

On other financial heavyweights, Public Bank slipped six sen to RM20.04, CIMB Group weakened five sen to RM5.01, Hong Leong Financial erased 28 sen to RM16.10 and AMMB lost five sen to RM4.11.

Even though the heavyweights might be able to weather through the downtrend, the analyst said small capital indices, especially those under ACE market would be under intense pressure due to sell offs.

At close, the Financial Services Index dropped 125.90 points to 15,357.46 while FBM ACE declined 0.7 per cent to 4,552.83.

“If the trend continues to be on the sideways, the index could slip further to below 1,580 points. The immediate resistance level now is viewed at 1,595 points,“ she said.

As for the actives, MNC Wireless eased 2.5 sen to 8 sen, Bumi Armada declined 1.5 sen to 33.5 sen and MTAG fell half-a-sen to 13.5 sen.

The FBM Emas Index slipped 65.27 points to 11,205.89, the FBMT 100 Index contracted 65.72 points to 11,038.61 and the FBM Emas Shariah Index was 56.46 points lower at 11,761.17.

The FBM 70 fell 99.29 points to 13,930.71.

Sector-wise, Plantation Index shed 50.58 points to 6,723.57 and the Industrial Products & Services Index was 0.16 point lower at 153.13.

The physical price of gold as at 5.00pn stood at RM194.95 per gramme, down RM1.72 from RM196.67 at 5.00pm yesterday. — Bernama

Gamuda net profit up to RM706.1m in FY19

KUALA LUMPUR, Sept 27 — Gamuda Bhd's net profit for the financial year ended July 31, 2019 (FY19) rose to RM706.11 million from RM530.18 million recorded in 2018. Revenue improved to RM4.57 billion from…

BNM, BI strengthen bilateral monetary, financial cooperation

PETALING JAYA: Bank Negara Malaysia (BNM) and Bank Indonesia (BI) entered into agreements to further strengthen bilateral monetary and financial cooperation between the central banks.

The two central banks inked a local currency bilateral swap agreement (LCBSA), which will enable the two to access foreign currency liquidity from each other if needed.

According to a press statement, the LCBSA allows for the exchange of local currencies between the central banks of up to RM8 billion or IDR28 trillion with an effective period of three years, which can be extended by mutual agreement of the central banks.

“This will complement efforts to support the wider usage of local currencies to facilitate cross-border economic activity between Malaysia and Indonesia,”

Furthermore the bilateral meeting also saw the signing of a memorandum of understanding (MoU) to forge closer cooperation on innovation in payments and digital financial services, as well as surveillance on anti-money laundering and counter financing of terrorism.

In the MoU, the two central banks reaffirmed the commitment in supporting the development of payment systems and digital financial innovation as part of initiatives to advance financial development and integration between the two countries.

The meeting also discussed recent economic and financial developments, including in the areas of Islamic finance, social financing and financial market development.

In addition, the central banks expressed their commitment in strengthening cooperation between both nations to further enhance financial sector development in achieving sustainable economic progress

Ringgit snaps four-day losing streak on FTSE Russell bond decision

KUALA LUMPUR, Sept 27 — The ringgit snapped four days of losses to end the week firmer against the US dollar after index provider FTSE Russell decided to maintain Malaysian bonds on its fixed-income watchlist. At 6pm, the local note…

Bursa ends lower on heavyweight selling pressure

KUALA LUMPUR, Sept 27 — Bursa Malaysia ended the week lower as most blue chip stocks were under selling pressure due to global economic anxiety and the lack of fresh local catalysts to act as a market drivers.  At 5pm, the benchmark FTSE…