European stocks climb as Italy responds to EU

LONDON, Oct 2 — European stock markets climbed today, helped by solid gains on the Milan index as investors looked beyond a credit downgrade for Italy, which has told Brussels it will stick to a controversial budget. The dollar rose against major…

US-China conflict benefits export of Malaysian palm oil, says ministry

KUALA LUMPUR, Oct 22 — The trade conflict between Malaysia and China has actually led to higher export of Malaysian palm oil to China, says the Ministry of Primary Industries. The conflict has resulted in China importing less soybean oil from the…

Electronics giant Philips posts mixed results in Q3

THE HAGUE, Oct 22 — Dutch electronics giant Philips, which is focusing its business on medical equipment and services, today posted higher third quarter sales but profits dipped due to currency headwinds. Sales rose 4.0 per cent to €4.3 billion…

China shares leap 4pc on authorities’ pledges of support, tax changes

SHANGHAI, Oct 22 — China’s benchark blue-chip index surged over 4 per cent today, posting its best daily performance in almost three years, as investors piled into the battered market after coordinated statements of support by senior regulators….

Bursa opens lower on cautious sentiment

KUALA LUMPUR, Oct 22 — Share prices were in the red on Bursa Malaysia in early trade this morning, on weaker demand, and amid the cautious sentiment clouding the market. At 9.10am, the benchmark FTSE Bursa Malaysia KLCI…

Europeans want Iran bank connected to world, French senator says

TEHRAN, Oct 22 — European nations are seeking to ensure at least one Iranian bank stays connected to the world after the US imposed new sanctions against the country, a French senator said in Tehran yesterday. The United States pulled out of a…

‘China must balance stable growth while managing risks’

BEIJING: China must balance the need for stable growth while managing risks and maintain a prudent and neutral monetary policy, the State Council said. The State Council Financial Stability and Development Commission held a special meeting on Saturday to discuss fending off financial risks, according to a statement published by the State Council. Senior officials […]

BoE reiterates confidence in preparations for the Brexit

Fundamental outlook THE Bank of England (BoE) reiterated its confidence its preparations against the impact of the Brexit. US building permit and existing home sales recorded a decline. China maintained that its GDP growth is still on track. US building permit rose 1.24 million in September, lower than the revised 1.24 million gains recorded in […]

11MP mid-term review unlikely to excite equity market: MIDF Research

PETALING JAYA: The mid-term review of the 11th Malaysia Plan is not enough to excite the equity market in the near term as it provides no material surprises that may spur significant buying interest, according to MIDF Research.

The research house has made no changes to its earnings forecasts as well as target prices of companies under its coverage.

“Furthermore, in so far as the broad market reaction is concerned, the benchmark FBM KLCI (FTSE Bursa Malaysia KLCI) was hovering within a narrow trading band (both before and after the 11MP-MTR reading in Parliament) and ended the day marginally lower by -0.15% to close at 1,738.01 points,” it said in a report on Friday, referring to Thursday's closing.

On Friday, the FBM KLCI closed 0.34% lower at 1,732.14 points.

Additionally, the research house said it expects the short-term market undertone to continue to be dominated by the prevailing vagaries on Wall Street as well as other external developments, particularly the ongoing US-China trade spat.

However, MIDF Research stressed that the mid-term review's objectives of fiscal consolidation while ensuring more inclusive economic growth are of long-term strategic importance to the nation's well-being, particularly on Malaysia's sovereign credit rating and country risk, global investors' confidence and the government's continued ability to provide adequate backstops during economic downturn.

Therefore, it said, over the long term, lessening sovereign and country risks which attract a lower required return would naturally drive market valuation market.

MIDF Research reiterated its FBM KLCI year-end 2018 target at 1,800 points, which equates to PER18 of 16.6 times. It also reiterated its FBM KLCI year-end 2019 target at 1,900 points, which equates to PER19 of 16.7 times, a slight discount to its multi-year (2010-17) mean of 16.8 times.

On a separate note, FXTM research analyst Lukman Otunuga said there will be an extra focus on the nation's macro fundamentals following growth downgrades in the mid-term review and by the World Bank.

He said the ringgit is likely to remain pressured by external risks, including trade disputes, global growth fears and prospects of higher US interest rates.

He added that global sentiment is expected to remain fragile in the week ahead as investors juggle with trade tensions, growth fears, Brexit-related uncertainty and geopolitical tensions.
The ringgit closed at 4.16 to the dollar last Friday.

China-backed hydro dam threatens world’s rarest orangutan

JAKARTA, Oct 21 — A billion-dollar hydroelectric dam development in Indonesia that threatens the habitat of the world’s rarest great ape has sparked fresh concerns about the impact of China’s globe-spanning infrastructure drive. The site of…