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Ringgit ends slightly lower against greenback despite firmer oil prices

KUALA LUMPUR, April 19 — The ringgit ended slightly lower against the US dollar today on the strengthening of the greenback despite firmer oil prices, said a dealer. At 6pm, the ringgit was quoted at 3.8890/8920 from 3.8880/8910 yesterday….


China says it’s ready to deal with any fallout from trade row with US

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(April 19): If this trade fight escalates, China could fire back by selling a large chunk of the $1.17 trillion of U.S. treasury bonds it holds. China is well-prepared to deal with any negative effect from its trade spat with the United States, and hopes the U.S. will not underestimate China’s resolve to fight back, the Chinese commerce ministry said on Thursday. The U.S. would be making a miscalculation if it is determined to contain China’s rise, Gao Feng, spokesman at the Ministry of Commerce, said at a regular mediaRead More


Resource stocks in Asia rally as oil surges, bonds suffer

SYDNEY, April 19 — Resource stocks were on a roll in Asia today as oil prices hit heights not seen since late 2014, though the potential boost to inflation globally also pressured fixed-income assets. Brent crude futures climbed another 34…


Corporate bond issuance in March surges to RM13b

PETALING JAYA: RAM Ratings said corporate bond issuance nearly doubled to RM13.1 billion in March from RM6.9 billion in February, but it cautioned that the future issuance amount could moderate as local bond yields are likely to face upward pressure in tandem with higher global yields.

The rating agency said in a statement that much of the upturn was attributed to the private sector (particularly banking entities), which added RM7.9 billion to gross issuance.

This also lifted the year-on-year issuance by 7.3% to RM29.6 billion for the first quarter of 2018 against RM27.6 billion recorded in the same quarter a year ago.

RAM Ratings also noted that foreign holdings of Malaysian bonds recorded a net inflow of RM2.9 billion, the bulk of which (around 72.2% of total inflows) constituted shorter-term papers.

However, with a large share of foreign bond flows so far this year attributed to holdings in short-term papers, it said global uncertainties and developments may lead to continued fluctuations in foreign bond holdings down the line.

The resilience of the ringgit in March also helped to attract investors, according to RAM Ratings.

“The ringgit continued to appreciate in April, strengthening to below RM3.88 against the US dollar in the first two weeks, as the dip in tech stocks and concerns over an increased likelihood of a US-China trade war grew, putting downward pressure on the US dollar.

“As the situation is still developing, capital markets and the US dollar in particular are expected to remain volatile as new information comes to the fore.”

Speaking of the impact of the 14th General Election, it opined that the run-up to the polls are not expected to disrupt the bond market to a great extent, as demonstrated in the past.


Ringgit closes higher on improved oil prices

KUALA LUMPUR, April 18 — The ringgit closed marginally higher against the& US dollar today as the improved oil prices bolstered buying interests for the local note, said a dealer. At 6pm, the ringgit was quoted at 3.8880/8910 from 3.8885/8925…


KLCI tracks regional gains, poised to test 1,900-level

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KUALA LUMPUR (April 18): The FBM KLCI looked poised to test the next resistance level of 1,900 points when it rose this morning, tracking gains at regional markets. At 9.05am, the FBM KLCI rose 3.11 points to 1,883.60. The early gainers included Nestle(M) Bhd, Kuala Lumpur Kepong Bhd, PPB Group Bhd, Petron Malaysia Refining & Marketing Bhd, Hengyuan Refining Company Bhd, Genting Plantations Bhd, ViTrox Corp Bhd, Globetronics Technology Bhd, Lotte Chemical Titan Holding Bhd and Unisem (M) Bhd. Asian shares crept ahead on Wednesday after Wall Street took heartRead More


Asia shares edge up with Wall St, wary on China

SYDNEY, April 18 — Asian shares crept ahead today after Wall Street took heart from upbeat corporate earnings, though nagging concerns about trade barriers and the global growth outlook kept currencies and bonds subdued. Dealers were anxious…


Trade curbs, tighter funding the ‘top risks’

SINGAPORE: Trade restrictions and tighter funding conditions pose more of a risk to the region compared to interest rate shocks and geopolitical tensions, said Moody’s Investors Service.

Trade protectionism and the unexpected tightening of funding conditions were each named by 42% of participants as the main downside risk to the region, according to Moody’s “Cross-Sector – Malaysia – Heard From the Market: Trade Restrictions, Tighter Funding Conditions Are Top Risks” report.

Participants were polled on various topics at the recent annual Inside Asean – Spotlight on Malaysia conference. Of the respondents, investors comprised 55%, intermediaries 19%, issuers 10% and others 16%.

Moody’s believes both economic powerhouses will avoid a major increase in trade restrictions despite the rising uncertainty and political risks, stemming from the US-China trade tensions – hence deeming geopolitical risks as a downside risk for global and regional outlook.

Household debt was another area of concern indicated by the respondents with 52.4% expressing concern over household debt over corporate sector debt. This is albeit the receding credit risk of the household sector which has decreased due to debt deleveraging, as household debt fell to 84.3% of gross domestic product at the end of 2017, from 88.3% in 2016.

While corporate credit quality risks are well balanced, household leverage represented a meaningful tail risk despite recent structural improvements.

As for interest rate shocks, Moody’s expects global interest rates to rise very gradually, which will be supportive of credit conditions in Malaysia.

“Moody’s view is that the recent correction in the global stock and bond markets has taken place against the backdrop of stronger growth and the inevitable normalisation of interest rates in advanced economies and that it does not alter the US and global outlook for growth.”

About 53% of the respondents are expecting stable credit conditions for domestic banks in 2018.

In line with that, Moody’s maintained a stable outlook on all the rated Malaysian banks, and expects the financial institutions to benefit from stable macroeconomic conditions. Nonetheless, 63% of the respondents expect global and regional credit conditions will be broadly stable in the near term.

On the adoption of electric vehicles (EVS) in Malaysia, 41% thought that EVs would account for only 1%-5% of all new vehicles sold by the mid-2020s, while 23% said they will account for less than 1%.

“Moody’s also expects the impact from the adoption of EVs to be modest in the emerging markets, including in South and Southeast Asia. It expects that oil demand will continue to grow until 2040,” the rating agency said.


Trade curbs, tighter funding seen as ‘top risks’ to region: Moody’s poll

SINGAPORE: Trade restrictions and tighter funding conditions pose more of a risk to the region compared to interest rate shocks and geopolitical tensions, said Moody’s Investors Service.

Trade protectionism and the unexpected tightening of funding conditions were each named by 42% of participants as the main downside risk to the region, according to Moody’s “Cross-Sector – Malaysia – Heard From the Market: Trade Restrictions, Tighter Funding Conditions Are Top Risks” report.

Participants were polled on various topics at the recent annual Inside Asean – Spotlight on Malaysia conference. Of the respondents, investors comprised 55%, intermediaries 19%, issuers 10% and others 16%.

Moody’s believes both economic powerhouses will avoid a major increase in trade restrictions despite the rising uncertainty and political risks, stemming from the US-China trade tensions – hence deeming geopolitical risks as a downside risk for global and regional outlook.

Household debt was another area of concern indicated by the respondents with 52.4% expressing concern over household debt over corporate sector debt. This is albeit the receding credit risk of the household sector which has decreased due to debt deleveraging, as household debt fell to 84.3% of gross domestic product at the end of 2017, from 88.3% in 2016.

While corporate credit quality risks are well balanced, household leverage represented a meaningful tail risk despite recent structural improvements.

As for interest rate shocks, Moody’s expects global interest rates to rise very gradually, which will be supportive of credit conditions in Malaysia.

“Moody’s view is that the recent correction in the global stock and bond markets has taken place against the backdrop of stronger growth and the inevitable normalisation of interest rates in advanced economies and that it does not alter the US and global outlook for growth.”

About 53% of the respondents are expecting stable credit conditions for domestic banks in 2018.

In line with that, Moody’s maintained a stable outlook on all the rated Malaysian banks, and expects the financial institutions to benefit from stable macroeconomic conditions. Nonetheless, 63% of the respondents expect global and regional credit conditions will be broadly stable in the near term.

On the adoption of electric vehicles (EVS) in Malaysia, 41% thought that EVs would account for only 1%-5% of all new vehicles sold by the mid-2020s, while 23% said they will account for less than 1%.

“Moody’s also expects the impact from the adoption of EVs to be modest in the emerging markets, including in South and Southeast Asia. It expects that oil demand will continue to grow until 2040,” the rating agency said.


S. Korean won firms most in Asia against steady US dollar

SINGAPORE, April 17 — The won rose the most among Asian currencies against a steady US dollar today, boosted by the return of capital inflows to South Korea. Investors wagered US-led attacks on Syria at the weekend would not escalate into a…