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Bursa Malaysia ends higher on positive external developments

KUALA LUMPUR: Bursa Malaysia closed higher across the board today, in line with Asian peers lifted by positive external developments surrounding the market, dealers said.

The benchmark FTSE Bursa Malaysia KLCI (FBM KLCI) finished 6.14 points firmer at 1,655.47 from 1,644.09 at 5pm on Friday.

The barometer index, which opened 2.60 points better at 1,651.93 this morning, moved between 1,651.85 and 1,656 throughout the session.

Market breadth was bullish with gainers thumping losers 613 to 276, while 350 counters were unchanged, 651 untraded and 28 others suspended.

Turnover increased to 2.28 billion units worth RM1.79 billion from 1.55 billion units valued at RM1.52 billion recorded at 5pm Friday.

A dealer said Bursa Malaysia remained in positive territory throughout the trading session taking the cue from US stocks which ended sharply higher last Friday, following signs of a reprieve in global trade tensions and the likelihood of lower US interest rates.

He said the weaker-than-expected US May jobs report released on Friday added to expectations that the Federal Reserve would carry out rate cuts as soon as July.

Asian shares also advanced today as the US dropped its tariffs threat on Mexico in a deal to combat illegal migration from Central America, as well as sentiment brought by China’s better-than-expected trade data for May.

Regionally, the Singapore Straits Times Index bagged 0.66% to 3,187.23, Japan’s Nikkei was 1.2% higher at 21,134.42, Hong Kong’s Hang Seng rose 2.27% to 27,578.64, South Korea’s Kospi gained 1.31% to 2,099.49 and Shanghai’s SSE increased 0.98% to 2,855.56.

Among heavyweights, Maybank added five sen to RM9.04, Public Bank rose eight sen to RM23.50, Tenaga and Petronas Chemicals eased two sen each to RM12.76 and RM8.38 respectively, while CIMB was flat at RM5.28.

Of the actively-traded stocks, Ekovest rose six sen to 85 sen, Bumi Armada added half-a-sen to 21 sen, Iskandar Waterfront perked 10.5 sen to 94 sen, while AirAsia X was flat at 24 sen.

The FBM Emas Index was 61.71 points higher at 11,642.36, the FBMT 100 Index increased 56.70 points to 11,497.12, the FBM Emas Syariah Index bagged 61.78 points to 11,852.22, the FBM 70 jumped 127.78 points to 14,355.10 and the FBM Ace rose 116.76 points to 4,380.90.

Sector-wise, the Financial Services Index was 77.35 points higher at 16,906.21 and the Plantation Index improved 8.54 points to 6,882.01, while the Industrial Products & Services Index was 0.20 point better at 160.74.

Main Market volume increased to 1.52 billion shares valued at RM1.64 billion from 1.21 billion shares worth RM1.48 billion during the half-day trading on Friday.

Warrants turnover rose to 493.48 million units valued at RM102.69 million from 154.56 million units worth RM18.57 million.

Volume on the ACE Market improved to 267.10 million shares valued at RM51.27 million from 178.52 million shares worth RM24.96 million.

Consumer products and services accounted for 250.35 million shares traded on the Main Market, industrial products and services (166.34 million), construction (311 million), technology (129.65 million), SPAC (nil), financial services (35.39 million), property (153.87 million), plantation (29.71 million), REITs (10.93 million), closed/fund (36,000), energy (326.97 million), healthcare (24.64 million), telecommunications and media (33.11 million), transportation and logistics (31.72 billion), and utilities (16.14 million).

The physical price of gold as at 5pm stood at RM171.86 per gramme, down 90 sen from RM172.76 at 5pm last Friday. — Bernama

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Trump threatens higher tariffs on at least another US$300b of Chinese goods

SHANNON (IRELAND)/BEIJING: US President Donald Trump threatened to hit China with tariffs on “at least” another US$300 billion (RM1.25 trillion) worth of Chinese goods but said he thought both China and Mexico wanted to make deals in their trade disputes with the United States.

Tensions between the world’s two largest economies have risen sharply since talks aimed at ending a festering trade war broke down in early May.

While Trump said today that talks with China were ongoing, no face-to-face meetings have been held since May 10, the day he sharply increased tariffs on a US$200 billion list of Chinese goods to 25%, prompting Beijing to retaliate.

“Our talks with China, a lot of interesting things are happening. We’ll see what happens … I could go up another at least US$300 billion and I’ll do that at the right time,” Trump told reporters, without specifying which goods could be impacted.

“But I think China wants to make a deal and I think Mexico wants to make a deal badly,” said Trump before boarding Air Force One at the Irish airport of Shannon on his way to France for D-Day commemorations.

In Beijing, China’s Commerce Ministry struck a defiant tone.

“If the United States wilfully decides to escalate tensions, we’ll fight to the end,” ministry spokesman Gao Feng told a regular news briefing.

“China does not want to fight a trade war, but also is not afraid of one. If the United States wilfully decides to escalate trade tensions, we’ll adopt necessary

countermeasures and resolutely safeguard the interests of China and its people.”

The Commerce Ministry also issued a report on how the US has benefited from years of economic and trade cooperation with China, saying US claims that China has taken advantage in bilateral trade were groundless.

“Since the new US administration took office, it has disregarded the mutually beneficial and win-win nature of China-US economic and trade cooperation, and has advocated the theory that the United States has ‘lost out’ to China on trade’, the ministry said in a research report.

“It has also taken the trade deficit issue as an excuse to provoke economic and trade frictions.”

Adding to concerns China may target US companies in the trade war, the ministry last week said it was drafting a list of “unreliable entities” that have harmed Chinese firms’ interests.

Gao said the list did not target specific industries, companies or individuals, and details would be disclosed soon. Companies that abide by Chinese laws and market rules had nothing to worry about, he added.

The International Monetary Fund warned on Wednesday that escalating tariff threats were sapping business and market confidence and could slow global growth that is currently expected to improve next year.

US Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin is scheduled to meet People’s Bank of China governor Yi Gang this weekend at a gathering of G20 finance leaders in Japan, the first face-to-face discussion between key negotiators in nearly a month.

Mexican and US officials were also set to resume their talks in Washington yesterday aimed at averting an imposition of tariffs on Mexican goods.

After saying that “not enough” progress on ways to curb migration was made when the two sides met on Wednesday, Trump told reporters today that Mexico had made progress in the talks but needed to do more.

He reiterated that 5% tariffs on all Mexico’s exports to the US due to start on Monday would go ahead if progress was not made. The tariffs can rise to as much as 25% later in the year.

“Mexico was in yesterday (Wednesday). They’re coming back this morning … I think a lot of progress was made yesterday, but we need to make a lot of progress,” Trump said.

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