january

 
 

Poll: Japan firms see prolonged Sino-US trade war, China slowdown to persist

TOKYO, March 22 — Three in four Japanese companies expect US-China trade frictions to last until at least late this year, a sharp contrast to market hopes that presidents Donald Trump and Xi Jinping might soon strike a deal to end their damaging…


Wall Street rises as Apple, tech shares climb

NEW YORK, March 22 — An Apple-led tech rally pushed Wall Street higher yesterday as jitters over the Federal Reserve's forecast of an economic slowdown were calmed by upbeat economic data. All three major US stock indexes ended the session in the…


Biogen scraps Alzheimer drug trials, wiping US$17b off its market value

NEW YORK, March 21 — Biogen and partner Eisai Co Ltd are ending two late-stage trials for the experimental Alzheimer’s drug aducanumab, in a setback to efforts to find treatments for the disease and for Biogen’s stock, which lost more than…


BoE warns on further Brexit ‘cliff-edge uncertainties’

LONDON, March 21 — The Bank of England today expressed concerns that further “uncertainties” over a “cliff-edge” no-deal Brexit “could have a significant effect on spending” by businesses. The BoE decided to keep its main interest rate…


Norway hikes interest rate, bucking global trend

OSLO, March 21 — Norway’s central bank raised its key interest rate today and said it would continue to tighten its monetary policy due to the strength of the Scandinavian country’s economy, in contrast to a slowdown in much of the rest of the…


Bursa Malaysia ends at intra-day low, the 2nd time in a week

KUALA LUMPUR: Bursa Malaysia bucked the positive trend in most of its Asian peers to end at its intra-day low today, the second time for this week, no thanks to the persistent profit-taking and risk-off mood ahead of the release of February’s Consumer Price Index (CPI) data tomorrow.

A dealer said some investors had turned cautious ahead of the CPI data release, as recent news that predicted Malaysia was likely to see another low reading of 0.4% year-on-year (y-o-y) in February had made them feel uneasy.

At 5pm, the benchmark FTSE Bursa Malaysia KLCI (FBM KLCI) lost 20.55 points, or 1.22%, to 1,663.66 from Wednesday’s close of 1,684.21.

After opening 3.43 points firmer at 1,687.64, the market bellwether moved between 1,663.66 and 1,689.61 throughout the day.

The dealer said investors were anxious about the CPI data as the country had just seen its January CPI data fall 0.7% y-o-y, the first deflation since 2009.

“We see profit-taking activities still prevailed as market players unwound their recent positions, but unlike most of the Asian markets, news of the dovish tone of the US Federal Reserve over the interest rate hikes failed to support Bursa Malaysia’s performance until the end of the day,“ he added.

Regionally, Singapore’s Straits Times Index advanced 0.19% to 3,213.65, China’s Shanghai Composite Index gained 0.35% to 3,101.46 and South Korea’s Kospi Composite Index increased 0.36% to 2,184.88.

Japan’s market is closed for holiday today while Hong Kong’s Hang Seng Index fell 0.85% to 29,071.56.

On the scoreboard, market breadth was negative with losers overtaking gainers 547 to 302, while 409 counters remained unchanged, 634 were untraded and 20 others were suspended.

Volume advanced to 2.96 billion units valued at RM2.15 billion compared with 2.58 billion units worth RM1.82 billion on Wednesday.

Of the heavyweights, Maybank lost seven sen to RM9.40, Tenaga retreated 14 sen to RM12.88, Petronas Chemicals was 10 sen lower at RM9.04, while CIMB and IHH shed six sen each to RM5.33 and RM5.79 respectively.

Nestle continued to lead the losers list by sinking RM2.20 to RM145.50, followed by four other KLCI-linked counters — Public Bank shrank 60 sen to RM23.86, PPB and KLK erased 50 sen each to RM17.82 and RM24.48, and Hong Leong Bank declined 46 sen to RM20.34.

Among the most active, Sapura Engergy and its warrant added one sen each to 35 sen and 14.5 sen respectively, Dynaciate ticked up half-a-sen to 10 sen, Perdana Petroleum trimmed one sen to 42 sen while Sino Hua-An was flat at 25.5 sen.

The FBM Emas Index dipped 105.75 points to 11,654.51, the FBMT 100 declined 105.92 points to 11,508.12, the FBM Emas Syariah Index was 78.48 points weaker at 11,709.81, the FBM Ace Index declined 21.57 points to 4,779.33 while the FBM 70 advanced 17.29 points to 14,182.84.

Sector-wise, the Financial Services Index tanked 225.12 points to 17,219.51, while the Plantation Index retreated 95.40 points to 7,208.74 and the Industrial Products and Services Index edged down 1.23 points to 168.72.

Main Market volume widened to 2.11 billion shares worth RM1.95 billion versus 1.74 billion shares worth RM1.64 billion on Wednesday.

Warrants advanced to 584.81 million units valued at RM127.72 million compared with 475.70 million units valued at RM106.15 million.

Volume on the ACE Market narrowed to 267.35 million shares worth RM64.37 million versus 363.57 million shares worth RM72.72 million.

Consumer products and services accounted for 214.80 million shares traded on the Main Market, industrial products and services (641.28 million), construction (128.77 million), technology (102.70 million), SPAC (nil), financial services (65.87 million), property (112.93 million), plantation (43.47 million), REITs (14.78 million), closed/fund (600), energy (647.10 million), healthcare (30.90 million), telecommunications and media (37.96 million), transportation and logistics (51.60 million), and utilities (19.67 million).

The physical price of gold as at 5pm stood at RM166.46 per gramme, up RM1.59 from RM164.87 at 5pm yesterday. — Bernama


Fed sees no rate hikes in 2019, sets end to asset runoff

WASHINGTON, March 21 — The US Federal Reserve yesterday brought its three-year drive to tighten monetary policy to an abrupt end, abandoning projections for any interest rate hikes this year amid signs of an economic slowdown, and saying it would…


Dollar flattened in rush to wager on Fed rate reversal

SYDNEY, March 21 — The dollar nursed heavy losses in Asia yesterday after the Federal Reserve stunned markets by abandoning all plans to raise rates this year, a signal its three-year campaign to normalise policy might be at an end. Investors…


US Fed resumes meeting with no rate hike expected

WASHINGTON, March 20 — The US Federal Reserve today resumed its second meeting of the year, having all but assured markets it will leave benchmark interest rates untouched. But markets and many economists expect the central bank will cut its…


Zimbabwe tobacco output set to dip to 240m kg after drought

HARARE, March 20 — Zimbabwean farmers are expected to sell up to 240 million kg of tobacco this year, a 5 per cent dip from 2018 due to drought, an industry official said today at the start of the selling season that could help ease a severe…