Thursday, December 30, 2010

20101230 1849 HAPPY NEW YEAR 2011 !


20101230 1848 FCPO EOD Daily Chart Study.

FCPO closed : 3788, changed : +55 points, volume : higher.
Bollinger band reading : correction range bound upside biased.
MACD Histrogram : resumed higher, buyer still in control.
Support : 3770, 3750, 3720 level.
Resistance : 3800, 3870, 3920 level.
Comment :
FCPO ended the year recorded gain with better volume traded ahead of long holidays and Monday 1~31 Dec 2010 export data release while soy oil resumed upward movement after having pullback correction for 2 days.
Daily chart formed an up bar candle with small lower shadow after price opened and tested lower support level and surged upward after yesterday pullback correction with the reading suggesting a correction range bound further upside biased potential market development.
When to buy : buy at support and weakness with quick cut loss and profit target.
When to sell : sell at resistant or strength with quick cut loss and profit target.

20101230 1835 FKLI EOD Daily Chart Study.

FKLI closed : 1521.5, changed : -9.5 points,  volume : lower.
Bollinger band reading : correction range bound upside biased.
MACD Histrogram : reversed lower, buyer reducing exposure.
Support : 1515, 1500, 1485 level.
Resistance : 1530, 1540, 1550 level.
Comment :
Last trading day of the year FKLI ended recorded loss with quiet volume participation as regional market closed mixed .
Daily chart formed a down candle having pullback correction after price touched upper Bollinger band resistant level with the reading suggesting a correction range bound upside biased market development.
When to buy : buy at support or weakness with quick cut loss and profit target.
When to sell : sell at resistant or strength with quick cut loss and profit target.

20101230 0949 Global Economics Related News.

Indonesia: Tightens rules on bank foreign exchange holdings
Indonesia said it will tighten rules on banks’ foreign-exchange holdings and overseas borrowing to cope with capital inflows that have pushed up inflation and strengthened the rupiah this year. Bank Indonesia will also reintroduce a 30% cap on lenders’ short-term overseas borrowing to minimize the risk of sudden capital outflows, it said. Banks must set aside 5% of their total foreign-exchange holdings as reserves as of March 2011, from 1% currently, Deputy Governor Budi Mulya said. The reserve requirement will rise to 8% effective June. (Bloomberg)

Taiwan: May increase interest rate to damp inflation
Taiwan will probably increase borrowing costs for the third time this year to curb gains in property prices and tackle accelerating inflation. Governor Perng Fai-nan will raise the benchmark interest rate by 0.125% point to 1.625%, according to all 14 economists in a Bloomberg News survey. Perng boosted the rate by the same amount in June and September from a record-low 1.25%. (Bloomberg)

EU: German inflation unexpectedly quickened in December
Inflation in Germany, Europe’s largest economy, unexpectedly accelerated in December as prices surged in the final month of the year. The inflation rate, calculated using a harmonized European method, increased to 1.9% from 1.6% in November, the Federal Statistics Office in Wiesbaden said. That’s the highest since Oct 2008. Economists expected an unchanged reading, according to the median of 13 estimates in a Bloomberg News survey. From November, consumer prices jumped 1.2%, the biggest monthly gain since December 2002. (Bloomberg)

UK: Faces ‘worse’ year for jobs on government cuts, CIPD says
UK unemployment will rise in 2011 in what will be a “worse” year for hiring as the government cuts public jobs as part of plans to reduce the budget deficit, the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development said. Payrolls will drop by 200,000 next year, with public-sector employment falling by 120,000 and private-sector jobs by 80,000, the London-based group said. Unemployment may rise to 9%, it said. Consumers’ spending power will also be eroded, with the CIPD forecasting below-inflation pay increases of 2% in 2011. (Bloomberg)

US:Economy confidence falls on concern over jobs
Confidence among US consumers unexpectedly fell in December, restrained by concern that jobs will remain scarce in 2011. The Conference Board’s confidence index unexpectedly fell to 52.5, lower than the most pessimistic forecast of economists surveyed by Bloomberg News, figures from the New York-based research group showed. Another report showed home values dropped more than economists projected. The loss of confidence is at odds with a report from the University of Michigan that showed sentiment improved to a sixmonth high in December, and with data showing holiday spending posted the biggest gain in five years. Federal Reserve policy makers this month said “depressed” housing and high unemployment remained constraints on consumer spending, supporting their plans to expand record monetary stimulus. (Bloomberg)

20101230 0948 Malaysia Corporate Related News.

Bank Negara still assessing Islamic mega bank bids
Malaysia’s central bank said yesterday it was still reviewing offers to set up mega Islamic banks, suggesting it could miss its target of awarding a licence this year as the industry struggles to create a well-capitalized syariah lender. It is offering up to 2 new Islamic banking licences to foreign firms to set up banks, with at least USD1bn of paid-up capital. (StarBiz)

Spike in demand for hybrid cars
Honda Malaysia SB and UMW Toyota Motor SB have recorded combined bookings of nearly 1,500 units for their Honda Insight and Toyota Prius hybrid models respectively in the span of less than 3 months. The bookings, if they were to materialize into sales, would represent a significant jump compared with just the 297 total hybrid units sold in the whole of 2009. (StarBiz)

TM sets up task force to probe bribe allegation
TM has set up a task force to carry out an investigation over news that telecommunications equipment maker Alcatel-Lucent gave bribes to its staff to win a contract. On Tuesday, Alcatel-Lucent and 3 of its subsidiaries had to pay more than USD137m in fines and penalties to settle US charges. According to court documents, Alcatel agents paid bribes to officials in Malaysia to obtain or retain a telecommunications contract worth USD85m. (BT)

Mitrajaya bags RM54m Subang Airport contract
Mitrajaya’s wholly owned subsidiary, Pembinaan Mitrajaya SB, yesterday was awarded a RM53.5m contract for the construction of a hangar at Subang Airport. Construction will commence from 1 Jan 2011 for a period of 10 months. (Financial Daily)

Sealink secures RM70m contract for vessels sale
Sealink International has secured contracts for the sale of 3 offshore support vessels for a total consideration of about RM70m. The 3 vessels are expected to be delivered within the first quarter of 2011. (Financial Daily) 

20101230 0857 Renewables Enry Related News.

Dec 28 (Reuters) - Japanese electronics firm Kyocera Corp will supply 204,000 kilowatts of solar cells to a Thai power company in a deal valued at 30-40 billion yen ($359 million), the Nikkei business daily said.
Kyocera will manufacture about 1 million polysilicon solar cells in Japan and ship them to Bangkok-based Solar Power Co over a period of three to four years, the daily said.

Dec 23 (Reuters) - Chinese solar products maker Solarfun Power Holdings  said GCL-Poly  will provide it 2,500 megawatts wafer and polysilicon products over the next five years.
The January 2011-December 2015 contract underscores the surging demand for renewable energy systems despite falling subsidies in top European markets such as Germany, Italy and the Czech Republic.

MUMBAI, Dec 23 (Reuters) - Indian power equipment maker Bharat Heavy Electricals said on Thursday it has secured contracts worth 780 million rupees ($17 million) to set up three solar photovoltaic power plants.
The orders are to be completed in 2011, BHEL said in a statement.

BEIJING, Dec 23 (Reuters) - China's Ministry of Commerce  on Thursday said it would consider a U.S. request for  consultations over its support for wind power technology,  while defending its actions as in keeping with global trade  rules.
The United States on Wednesday accused China of illegally subsidizing production of wind power equipment and asked for talks at the World Trade Organization, the first step in filing a trade case.

Dec 22 (Reuters) - U.S. solar equipment supplier GT Solar International  said it has received two orders worth $23.8 million from Chinese solar panel maker Trina Solar Ltd  for its crystalline ingot-making systems.
The orders -- for furnaces that melt polysilicon and cast multi-crystalline ingots, which are used to make solar wafers -- will be included in GT Solar's third-quarter backlog, it said in a statement.

ATHENS, Dec 22 (Reuters) - Greek renewable energy firm Terna Energy will accelerate its investment outside Greece next year to bypass red tape stifling growth at home, the company's chief executive said on Wednesday.
"I expect that in 2011 capital expenditure will be about 50/50 between Greece and abroad, with the total exceeding 300 million euros ($394.5 million)," Executive Chairman George Peristeris told Reuters in an interview.

PARIS, Dec 22 (Reuters) - France will tender for the construction of its first offshore wind power farms in January, a government source said on Wednesday.
It aims to build a wind power output capacity of 25,000 MW by 2020, including 6,000 MW in offshore wind capacity for a 20 billion euros investment to help it meet its goal to meet 23 percent of demand with green energy by 2020.

20101230 0856 Biofuels Related News.

HAMBURG, Dec 28 (Reuters) - An increase to the amount of biofuel blended into German gasoline will be delayed as more time is needed for technical changes for the new fuel mix, German oil industry association MWV said on Tuesday.
The German government in October approved a rise in the maximum level of bioethanol allowed in blended gasoline to 10 percent from 5 percent previously from Jan. 1, 2011.

BEIJING, Dec 25 (Reuters) - China's Finance Ministry has  retroactively exempted consumption tax on pure biodiesel made  from waste animal fats or vegetable oils, and will refund  taxes already paid over the last two years.
The policy is backdated to Jan. 1, 2009, the ministry said in a statement on its website late on Friday (

SEOUL, Dec 29 (Reuters) - South Korea, the world's No.5 oil importer, set its required bio-diesel mix rate system at 2 percent from 2012, the government said on Wednesday.
Asia's fourth-largest economy also unveiled details of a Renewable Portfolio Standard (RPS), for which a government bill was approved in March, requiring 14 state-run and private power utilities to boost supplies of renewable energy from 2012.

SAO PAULO, Dec 22 (Reuters) - Brazilian sugar and ethanol group Cerradinho, which sold two mills to Noble Group earlier this week, plans to expand its cane operations in Goias state, a new cane frontier, a member of its board or directors said.
The injection of around 600 million reais ($354 million) from Noble will enable the Sanches Fernandes family, owner of the group, to resume investments in expanding the only mill it kept.
Graphic - cane expansion:

BRUSSELS, Dec 22 (Reuters) - The European Union's executive said on Wednesday it was looking at further measures to tackle the unwanted side-effects of biofuels production, which compromise the fuels' green credentials.
After a two-year investigation, the European Commission said the complex issue of "indirect land use change" could lessen carbon savings from biofuels, but it stopped short of immediately recommending new barriers against unsustainable biofuels.

COPENHAGEN, Dec 22 (Reuters) - Industrial enzymes producer Novozymes does not expect a major breakthrough in second-generation bioethanol in the United States for another four to five years, a senior executive said on Wednesday.
Novozymes' marketing director for biofuels, Poul Ruben Andersen, told Reuters he now sees no scope for second-generation ethanol to make a U.S. breakthrough until 2014 or 2015.  

20101230 0855 Global Market Related News.

Oil hovers above $91 ahead of U.S. inventory data
SINGAPORE, Dec 30 (Reuters) - Oil held above $91 a barrel, ahead of U.S. weekly inventory data expected to  show a drawdown in crude stocks for the fourth consecutive  week due to an abnormally icy winter.
"The oil market continues to alternate small gains with small declines, as prices idle quietly on light between-holiday volume," said Timothy Evans, energy analyst at Citi Futures Perspective.

U.S. corn, wheat dip from highs, market eyes export data
SINGAPORE, Dec 30 (Reuters) - U.S. corn futures slid around half a percent, ending a string of 10 consecutive days of gains, while wheat dropped from a near 5-month top as investors liquidated positions ahead of the year-end.
"It is not surprising to see profit-taking as traders tend to close their books and settle accounts before the end of the year," said Ker Chung Yang, an analyst at Phillip Futures in Singapore.

OIL: Oil steadies above $91, U.S. EIA stocks data eyed
SINGAPORE, Dec 30 (Reuters) - Oil steadied above $91 on Thursday ahead of U.S. inventory data that was expected to show a drawdown in crude stocks for the fourth consecutive week.
Warmer weather forecasts after the blizzard that pummeled the U.S. Northeast also cast doubts on sustained domestic demand for heating fuel, weighing on crude prices.

COMMODITY MARKETS: Gold to 3-week high as dollar sags; crude down
CHICAGO, Dec 29 (Reuters) - Gold climbed to a three-week high on Wednesday on economic uncertainty and a weaker dollar, while crude oil fell and copper set back from an all-time peak as traders took profits in light volume.
"Volume is light and somebody's making a decision on whether to own some gold or to cover some short positions at the end of the year. It can change in any given time during the day," said George Nickas at futures broker FC Stone.

GLOBAL MARETS: Stocks rise as growth outlook boosts risk assets
NEW YORK, Dec 29 (Reuters) - World stocks climbed to their highest levels in more than 27 months on Wednesday and the S&P 500 headed for its best December in nearly two decades as investors seized on indications of stronger economic growth in 2011.
"The first few days of the new year will be good as a lot of new money will flow into the market," said Philippe Gijsels, head of research at BNP Paribas Fortis Global Markets in Brussels. "But people will become cautious again."

OPEC caution on output may help bring back $100 oil
LONDON, Dec 29 (Reuters) - Oil has burst above top exporter Saudi Arabia's preferred $70-$80 range and yet OPEC is unlikely to stop the rally, helping to prepare the way for the market to bound above $100 a barrel.
At meetings this month -- a full conference of the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries in Quito and talks among Arab oil ministers in Cairo -- oil producers stood by OPEC's two-year-old set of output curbs.

Snow in US Plains to protect wheat from cold snap
CHICAGO, Dec 28 (Reuters) - Snowfall expected in the southern U.S. Plains late this week should help insulate and protect the region's winter wheat crop from a weekend cold snap likely to bring subzero temperatures, forecasters said Tuesday.
"They will see some cold weather. We probably get down to minus 10 degrees (Fahrenheit) (minus 23 degrees Celsius) in western Nebraska and northeast Colorado, and negative single digits in northwest Kansas," said Drew Lerner, a meteorologist with World Weather Inc.

Argentine corn at critical juncture due to dryness
BUENOS AIRES, Dec 28 (Reuters) - Hot, dry conditions linked to the La Nina weather phenomenon threaten to dent corn and soy production in Argentina, where some corn crops are drying up as they enter a key growth stage, experts said on Tuesday.
The South American country is the world's second-biggest corn exporter, No. 3 soybean supplier and the top global provider of soyoil and meal. Argentine crop weather often moves corn and soy futures prices at the Chicago Board of Trade.

Raw sugar nears 30-year peak, cocoa slips
London white sugar futures rose in early trade supported by strength in ICE raw sugar futures , which hovered near their 30-year high of 34.60 cents a lb. Light volumes of trade over the holiday period made the market vulnerable to sharp moves.New York sugar  is expected to retrace to 33.39 cents per lb or lower to 32.03 cents as neither its wave pattern nor the RSI indicator supports a further gain.

World stocks up, Treasuries recover from sell-off
LONDON, Dec 29 (Reuters) - World stocks were close to fresh 27-month highs as investors headed towards the new year buoyed by hopes of a global growth spurt in 2011."The one thing the market has got going for it is the U.S. economy regaining momentum. At the moment the market doesn't want to know the bad news -- and it's very reluctant to give up any ground whatsoever," said Mike Lenhoff, chief strategist at Brewin Dolphin Securities, in London.

20101230 0854 Soy Oil & Palm Oil Related News.

US soy product futures ended lower as traders continued to take profits after sending the market to new highs recently. Traders said there was no fresh bullish news to rally markets that had already climbed to fresh bull-market highs recently. Worries about heat and dryness in South America will continue to underpin the markets, traders said. Jan soyoil closed down $0.044 cent to 56.38 cents per pound and Jan soymeal ended down $2.90 to $365.70 per short ton. (Source: CME)

U.S. corn, soy fall from over 2-year highs, wheat steady
SINGAPORE, Dec 29 (Reuters) - U.S. corn and soybean  futures slipped easing from their highest in  over two years scaled in the previous session, but supply  worries triggered by dry weather in Argentina continued to  support prices.  "Soybeans, corn and wheat should continue the bullish  trend next year, but there could be some profit-taking at the  end of the year," said Kazuhiko Saito, chief commodities  analyst at Fujitomi Co in Tokyo.

Palm snaps 7-day winning streak, supply concerns linger
KUALA LUMPUR, Dec 29 (Reuters) - Malaysian palm oil  futures snapped a seven-day winning streak as  traders booked profits although concerns over weak global  vegetable oil production persisted."Palm is down on weaker Dalian's soyoil and U.S. soy  complex as traders were squaring positions before year-end  since most commodity prices rose over the last few days," said  a trader in Kuala Lumpur.

US analyst lowers Argentina soybean crop forecast
CHICAGO, Dec 28 (Reuters) - Private U.S. crop analyst Michael Cordonnier said on Tuesday he lowered his forecast of Argentina's 2010/11 soybean production for a second straight week, to 48 million tonnes.
His previous weekly estimate was for 49 million tonnes.

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

20101229 1835 FCPO EOD Daily Chart Study.

FCPO closed : 3733, changed : -45 points, volume : lower.
Bollinger band reading : correction range bound upside biased.
MACD Histrogram : reverse lower, buyer defending as seller testing market.
Support : 3720, 3700, 3650 level.
Resistance : 3750, 3770, 3800 level.
Comment :
FCPO corrected downward recorded loss with lower volume transacted after hitting new high yesterday as soy oil and crude oil also having pullback correction as U.S. dollar rebounded overnight.
Daily chart formed a down bar candle pulling back after hitting upper Bollinger band resistant level yesterday with the reading suggesting a correction range bound upside biased market development.
When to buy : buy at support and weakness with quick cut loss and profit target.
When to sell : sell at resistant or strength with quick cut loss and profit target.

20101229 1817 FKLI EOD Daily Chart Study.

FKLI closed : 1531, changed : +7 points,  volume : lower.
Bollinger band reading : upside biased.
MACD Histrogram : rising, buyer in advantage.
Support : 1530, 1515, 1500 level.
Resistance : 1540, 1550, 1560 level.
Comment :
Year end window dressing pushed FKLI continue to trade firmer recorded gain with lower volume traded following most regional markets that closed in positive territory.
Daily chart formed an up bar candle closed near upper Bollinger band resistant level with the band width continue to expand outwards suggesting a further upside biased potential market development.
When to buy : buy at support, weakness or break up with larger cut loss and profit target.
When to sell : sell at resistant or strength with quick cut loss and profit target.

20101229 0944 Local & Global Economics Related News.

China: Beijing to raise minimum wage 21% in 2011 as inflation quickens
Beijing will raise the minimum wage by 20.8% in 2011, becoming the latest local government to lift pay in a country where inflation is running at the fastest clip in more than two years. The increase to RMB1,160 (USD175) a month from RMB960, the second boost this year, will take effect on 1 Jan 2011, according to a statement from the Beijing Human Resources and Social Security Bureau. The city will also raise pension and unemployment benefits, the agency said. (Bloomberg)

Taiwan: May raise interest rate to damp inflation, home prices
Taiwan will probably increase borrowing costs for the third time this year to curb gains in property prices and tackle accelerating inflation. Governor Perng Fai-nan will raise the benchmark interest rate by 0.125 percentage point to 1.625%, according to all 14 economists in a survey. Perng boosted the rate by the same amount in June and September from a record-low 1.25%. (Bloomberg)

Japan: Consumer prices fall as deflation persists
Japan’s consumer prices fell for a 21st month in November, a sign sustained deflation may prompt the central bank to revise its price projections. Consumer prices excluding fresh food declined 0.5% from a year earlier, the statistics bureau said in Tokyo. That compared with a median 0.6% drop predicted by 28 economists surveyed by Bloomberg News. (Bloomberg)

US: Confidence falls on concern over jobs
Confidence among US consumers unexpectedly fell in December, restrained by concern that jobs will remain scarce in 2011. The Conference Board’s confidence index unexpectedly fell to 52.5, lower than the most pessimistic forecast of economists surveyed by Bloomberg News, figures from the New York-based research group showed. Another report showed home values dropped more than economists projected. (Bloomberg)

Malaysia: South Korea slaps duties on Malaysian plywood
The Korean Trade Commission has imposed anti-dumping duties on the import of Malaysian plywood, ranging from 5% to 38%, for three years. The decision was based on a probe that nine Malaysian plywood exporters were allegedly selling their products below production cost. Malaysian plywood exporters got a temporary relief three months ago when South Korea decided to defer its anti-dumping duties by reversing an earlier ruling to slap punitive duties ranging from 5% to 34%. (StarBiz)

China: Industrial profits rise 49% Chinese industrial companies’ profits rose 49.4% in the 11 months through November y-o-y, putting pressure on the central bank to add to this year’s two interest-rate increases. Income climbed to RMB3.88trn (USD585bn) That compared with a 7.8% gain in the same period in 2009 and an increase of 55% in January through August. Industrial companies’ sales gained 31.8% in the 11 months through November to RMB62.4trn. (Bloomberg)

Taiwan: Limit cuts on bank’s holdings of currency derivatives
Taiwan’s central bank said it will rein in limits on the use of exchange-rate derivatives to combat currency speculation by foreigners. Banks’ holdings of non-deliverable forwards and options in the Taiwan dollar will be limited to 20% of their positions in the local currency with immediate effect, down from the previous ceiling of 33.3%. Deliverable forwards are exempt from the restrictions as they are used by local companies to protect earnings against exchange-rate fluctuations. (Bloomberg)

UK: December home prices fall for sixth month
UK house prices fell for a sixth month in December and will extend their decline in 2011 on weak demand and tighter mortgage-lending conditions, according to Hometrack Ltd. The average cost of a home fell 0.4% m-o-m, and prices will drop a further 2% in 2011, the property researcher said. Demand for homes, measured by the change in new buyers registering with real-estate agents, fell 4.8% m-o-m, the biggest drop since Jan 2009 and the sixth consecutive monthly decline. The number of homes for sale fell 1.5%. (Bloomberg)

US: Retailers’ holiday sales increase 5.5%
US retailers’ 2010 holiday sales jumped 5.5% for the best performance in five years. Retail sales, excluding autos, rose to USD584bn from 5 Nov through 24 Dec, compared to a 4.1% gain last year. Apparel sales grew the fastest in the 50 days before Christmas, with an 11% gain, more than 10 times the pace of last year. Sales of jewelry accelerated 7.2%, more than twice as fast as in 2009. Luxury sales rose 6.7%, compared with 0.9% in 2009. Consumer electronics sales increased 1.2% after falling 4.6% a year earlier. Furniture climbed 3.8% after a 2.2% drop last year. (Bloomberg)

20101229 0942 Malaysia Corporate Related News.

JAKS subsidiary gets RM201m building job
JAKS Resources’ subsidiary has won a RM201m construction contract for a commercial development in Petaling Jaya, Selangor, from MNH Global Assets Management SB. The commercial development of Phase 1-5 Commercial Block of 15-storey and 4-storey basements by JAKS SB (JSB) is due to be completed by March 2012. MNH Global Assets is wholly owned by Island Circle Development (M) SB, a major shareholder of JAKS Island Circle SB, which in turn is majority owned by JSB. (BT)

SunCity acquires land in Johor for expansion
Sunway City’s wholly owned subsidiary Asli Budimas SB has entered into an agreement with Bukit Ledang Development SB to purchase approximately 64.6 acres of land for RM134.52m in tandem with its expansion plan in Johor. According to its announcement to Bursa Malaysia, the acquisition will provide SunCity an estimated GDV of RM932m when the land in Plentong, which is strategically located within the Iskandar Malaysia development region, is fully developed. The land price works out to RM47.78 per sq ft. (Financial Daily)

Sime to build pilot bio-ethanol plant
Sime Darby Plantation SB is partnering Japan's Mitsui Engineering and Shipbuilding Co Ltd to build and operate a bio-ethanol demonstration plant, which will convert empty oil palm fruit bunches into bio-ethanol. Sime Darby officials said the plant would cost about USD10m (RM30.9m). Bio-ethanol is used as fuel for cars and unlike biodiesel, which is a blend of palm oil and diesel, it is made from plantation waste. The bio-ethanol plant will use fruit bunches as the main raw material, which is abundant and available throughout the year, Sime said in a statement. The collaboration is being undertaken by Sime Darby Research SB, the research and development arm of Sime Darby Plantation. The joint-venture plant will be built next to Sime Darby Plantation's Tennamaram palm oil mill at Bestari Jaya in Selangor. (BT)

PNB mum on talk of potential mergers
Permodalan Nasional Bhd (PNB) was mum on speculation of mergers among its property companies or the relisting of its wholly-owned property group Island & Peninsular Group SB (I&P). "We will make the necessary announcements when the time comes," president and group chief executive Tan Sri Hamad Kama Piah Che Othman told reporters yesterday. There have been reports that major property groups like SP Setia and Sime Darby Property could be persuaded to merge. PNB is the single biggest shareholder in SP Setia and it also controls Sime Darby. As for the I&P group, it is the result of a merger with sister companies Petaling Garden and Pelangi. All three were once listed before being taken private by PNB in July 2007. The group now has a combined landbank of about 2,200ha in the Klang Valley and Johor, and has developed property projects over 35 townships such as Bukit Damansara, Bandar Kinrara, and Alam Damai (BT)

CIMB: CIMB Niaga's second sub debt over-subscribed. CIMB Group Holding Bhd's (CIMB Group) subsidiary PT Bank CIMB Niaga Tbk (CIMB Niaga) completed the issuance of IDR1.6t (RM552.3m) subordinated debt, which was oversubscribed by three times. The successful transaction was anchored by a good spread of order book with 55% orders from institutional investors, 25% corporate and 20% retail. Another important breakthrough is the increased cross-border interest that accounted for 16% of the total order book. (Source: The Edge Financial Daily)

Banking: Foreign banks join MEPS. Five major foreign banks in Malaysia have joined the Malaysian Electronic Payment System (MEPS) automated teller machine (ATM) network. The five banks are HSBC Bank Malaysia Bhd, OCBC Bank (M) Bhd, United Overseas Bank (M) Bhd, Standard Chartered Bank Malaysia Bhd and Citibank Bhd. The banks will launch the service individually over time as soon as their respective systems are fully operational. (Source: The Star)

Plantation: Mohd Isa new Felda chairman. Former Negeri Sembilan menteri besar Tan Sri Mohd Isa Abdul Samad has been appointed chairman of the Federal Land Development Authority (Felda) effective Jan 1 next year. Mohd succeeds Tan Sri Dr Mohd Yusof Noor who has been appointed as adviser to the minister in charge of Felda. (Source: The Edge Financial Daily)

Transportation: Locations of seven LRT stations approved. The Subang Jaya Municipal Council (MPSJ) has approved seven new locations for the light-rail transit (LRT) stations. The stations approved at the Kelana Jaya link consist of Station 5 at SS15, Station 6 at SS17, Station 8 at USJ 10, Station 9 at USJ 15, and Station 10 at USH 21. Station 3 and Station 4 at the Ampang link which will be built along the Bukit Jalil-Puchong highway were approved as well. (Source: New Straits Times)

DRB-Hicom to divest stakes in Uni.Asia?
DRB-Hicom is exploring the possibility of divesting its interests in insurers Uni.Asia Life Assurance and Uni.Asia General Insurance, say sources. There has been an interest in DRB’s insurance units but the potential buyer is still studying the numbers. It has not reached the decision stage yet. DRB’s major shareholder, Tan Sri Syed Mokhtar Al Bukhary, declined to comment. DRB has a 51% stake in Uni.Asia Life and 34.73% stake in Uni.Asia General. Its current equity partner in the two units is Singapore’s UOB. (Financial Daily)

QSR, KFC not for sale
Speculation about Johor Corp Bhd's (JCorp) plan to divest its stakes in QSR Brands Bhd and KFC Holdings (M) Bhd was put to rest yesterday after the state investment company reiterated it has no plans to sell those prized assets. “QSR and KFC are not for sale,” JCorp president and chief executive Kamaruzzaman Abu Kassim said in a statement, adding that it did not make sense for the company to sell its “core business”. (StarBiz)

EPF investment income at RM5.8bn
The Employees Provident Fund (EPF) raked in RM5.75bn in investment income for the third quarter ended 30 Sept, a 5.12% increase from RM5.47bn registered in the same quarter last year. In a statement yesterday, it said equities investment was the largest contributor with RM2.4bn, representing a 2.56% increase compared with RM2.34bn recorded in the previous corresponding period. (Bernama)

MAHB unveils headline KPIs for 2011
Malaysia Airports Holdings Bhd (MAHB) has highlighted achieving earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation of RM773.4m; a return on equity of 10.73% and a top 5 worldwide ranking for KL International Airport as its headline key performance indicators (KPIs) in 2011. MAHB told Bursa Malaysia yesterday that the headline KPIs were set based on its strategic plans and long-term targets that were developed under its fiveyear (2010-2014) business direction planning initiative. MAHB said it believed that 2010 would end with a double-digit passenger and cargo growth compared with 8.2% achieved for passengers in 2009. The sustained 2010 growth, it added, was expected to lay the foundation for further growth in 2011. (StarBiz)

F&N to redevelop PJ Land
Fraser & Neave Holdings (F&N) will redevelop the land in Petaling Jaya that has been housing its dairy manufacturing plant since 1959 to feature commercial and residential properties with gross development value of at least RM1bn. The project is expected to kick start another major property venture for the group, which would see its development in Pudu coming to an end. F&N said the existing manufacturing plant in Section 13 would be relocated to Pulau Indah commencing end-2011. (FinancialDaily)

MESB shareholders advised to reject takeover offer
The independent adviser has recommended that shareholders and directors of MESB reject the takeover offer by the company’s executive director Teoh Hwa Peng, who had recently offered 33 sen apiece for shares he did not already own in the engineering outfit. TA Securities, the appointed independent adviser, said Teoh’s cash offer was “not fair and not reasonable” given that the proposal did not include a premium on the offer price. (FinancialDaily) 

20101229 0853 Global Market Related News.

Oil steadies above $91 ahead of U.S. inventory data
SINGAPORE, Dec 29 (Reuters) - Oil steadied above $91 a  barrel, as forecasts for warmer weather in the  U.S. Northeast offset expectations for a further drawdown in  crude stocks in the world's largest oil user.
"Oil is tracking the cold weather in the Northeast of the United States and also the dollar against the euro," said Tetsu Emori, a fund manager at Tokyo-based Astmax Co Ltd.

U.S. corn, soy dip from over 2-year highs, wheat firm
SINGAPORE, Dec 29 (Reuters) - U.S. corn and soybean futures edged lower, easing from highest in over two years scaled in the previous session as dry weather in Argentina continued to raise concerns over supplies. 
"Soybeans, corn and wheat should continue the bullish trend next year, but there could some profit-taking at the end of the year," said Kazuhiko Saito, chief commodities analyst at Fujitomi Co in Tokyo.

Japan, China shares fall after rate rise; euro up
SINGAPORE, Dec 28 (Reuters) - Shares in Japan and China  eased as concerns that further Chinese monetary  tightening will cool the engine of world economic growth  overshadowed Japanese data that pointed to improving demand.  "Data in recent weeks have been supportive of the stocks  and commodity markets globally," said David Cohen, director of  Asian economic forecasting at Action Economics.

Oil prices climb above $91/bbl, dollar, cold snap supports
SINGAPORE, Dec 28 (Reuters) - U.S. crude prices rose above  $91 a barrel, hovering just below a 26-month top hit in the  previous session, supported by a weaker dollar and hopes that  a major snow storm on the U.S. East Coast would stoke demand  for heating oil.
"Data in recent weeks have been supportive of the stocks and commodity markets globally. The U.S. will avoid a double-dip. The Asian region including Japan looks a little bit better, with its industrial production finally showing an increase," said David Cohen, director of Asian Economic Forecasting at Action Econ.

Gold up on dollar weakness, Asian buying
SINGAPORE, Dec 28 (Reuters) - Spot gold prices firmed as it was supported by a weaker dollar and buying  interest in Asia, while investors hoped for a further rally in prices next year.
"Gold is riding high on its own, but with the euro/dollar bid, it's even better," said a Singapore-based trader. "Asians have been non-stop buyers, and want to load up when gold is some 40 bucks off the all-time highs."

COMMODITY MARKETS: Markets hit new highs as China rate hike barely hurt
NEW YORK, Dec 27 (Reuters) - Commodity markets took China's surprise rate hike in stride on Monday, with soybeans and oil hitting two-year peaks and copper hitting record highs amid razor-thin trade as investors stayed focused on fundamentals in the final trading week of the year.
"A lot of people were unable to come to work today because of the storm and when you add the uncertainties from the Chinese rate hike to that, it explains the volumes you have," said George Gero, senior vice president at RBC Wealth Management in New York.

GLOBAL MARETS: US stocks recover after China rate move, euro up
NEW YORK, Dec 27 (Reuters) - U.S. stocks closed little changed and the dollar lost ground to the euro in thin trade on Monday, buffeted by China's Christmas Day interest rate hike and a blizzard that pounded the northeastern United States.
"The market is pretty much flat but we ended well off our lows and although we have no buyers stepping in, we have to give the bulls the victory seeing how the market turned around," said Ryan Detrick, technical analyst at Schaeffer's Investment Research at Cincinnati, Ohio.

20101229 0852 Soy Oil & Palm Oil Related News.

US soy-product futures end higher as heat, dryness raise worries about Argentine production. Argentina is world's leading exporter of soymeal and soyoil. Poor weather may reduce output potential or discourage farmers from finishing planting soybeans, which are about three-quarters sown, analysts say. Export demand for soy could shift to the US from Argentina, they add. CBOT March soymeal closes up $6.90 at $370.30 per short ton. CBOT March soyoil closes up 0.52 cent at 57.75 cents per pound. (Source: CME)

U.S. soy climbs to near 28-month top; corn, wheat firm
SINGAPORE, Dec 28 (Reuters) - U.S. soy futures rose for a  seventh straight session to its highest in nearly  28 months, while corn hovered around its 29-month peak as dry  weather in Argentina raised crop concerns amid strong global  demand.  "The most important factor is the weather in Argentina  where forecasts show that extremely high temperatures and  below normal rains are likely to hit production," said Ker  Chung Yang, an analyst at Phillip Futures in Singapore. (Source: CME)

Weather concerns lift palm oil to fresh 33-mth highs
KUALA LUMPUR, Dec 28 (Reuters) - Malaysian crude palm oil  futures rose to fresh 33-month highs  driven by  prospects of erratic weather sapping vegetable oil supplies at  a time when demand remains resilient.  "Palm oil production will fall more than 15 percent in  this month as the weather is pretty bad in palm oil producing  states," said a trader with a foreign brokerage in Kuala Lumpur.

Funds widen net longs in corn and soybeans - CFTC
CHICAGO, Dec 27 (Reuters) - Large speculators aggressively expanded their net long position in Chicago Board of Trade corn futures in the week ended Dec. 21, data from the U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission showed on Monday.
Noncommercial traders held a net long in CBOT corn of 331,018 contracts, up 25,503 lots from the previous week, CFTC's Commitments of Traders Supplemental Report showed.

La Nina dryness batters Argentina's soy belt - govt
BUENOS AIRES, Dec 27 (Reuters) - Dryness caused by the La Nina weather phenomenon persisted in Argentine soy-growing regions last week, slowing plantings and preventing soy crops from developing normally, the government said in a report.
Argentina is the world's No. 3 soybean exporter and the government has forecast 2010/11 area at 18.7 million hectares (46.20 million acres), slightly above last season despite some farmers favoring corn over soy. The two crops fight for acreage in Argentina.

Monday, December 27, 2010

20101227 1849 FCPO EOD Daily Chart Study.

FCPO closed : 3756, changed : +91 points, volume : higher.
Bollinger band reading : upside biased.
MACD Histrogram : recovering, buyer holding on.
Support : 3750, 3720, 3700 level.
Resistance : 3770, 3800, 3870 level.
Comment :
FCPO rallied recorded significant gain with better volume changed hand despite weak export data released as tight supply concern due to weather factor plus soy oil and crude oil continue stand firmer.
Daily chart formed a wide range up bar candle closed right at upper Bollinger band resistant level with the band width about to turn outward suggesting a further upside biased market development testing higher resistant level.
When to buy : buy at support and weakness with quick cut loss and profit target.
When to sell : sell at resistant or strength with quick cut loss and profit target.

20101227 1819 FKLI EOD Daily Chart Study.

FKLI closed : 1513.5, changed : -3 points,  volume : lower.
Bollinger band reading : side way range bound upside biased.
MACD Histrogram : turned downward, buyer reducing exposure.
Support : 1500, 1485, 1470 level.
Resistance : 1515, 1530, 1550 level.
Comment :
Slightly improved volume FKLI closed recorded loss while regional market ended mixed after surprise China central bank official raised interest rate by 25 basis point on 26 Dec 2010.
Daily chart formed 4th doji bar candle with small body after market traded range bound within a 4 points range market with the reading suggesting a side way range bound upside biased market development.
When to buy : buy at support or weakness with quick cut loss and profit target.
When to sell : sell at resistant or strength with quick cut loss and profit target.

20101227 0959 Global Economics Related News.

China: Increases rates to counter highest inflation in two years
China raised interest rates for the second time since mid-October to counter the fastest inflation in more than two years, and more moves may follow. The benchmark one-year lending rate will rise by 25 basis points to 5.81% and the one-year deposit rate will climb by the same amount to 2.75%, the People’s Bank of China said in a one-sentence statement on its website. (Bloomberg)

France: AAA credit rating affirmed by S&P on budget confidence
France’s standing as one of the world’s safest borrowers was affirmed by Standard & Poor’s, reflecting that the Euro-area’s second largest economy will rein in its budget deficit. At the end of a year in which rating companies downgraded the debt of Euro nations from Spain to Ireland, S&P said that France deserves a AAA sovereign credit rating because of the “wealth and depth” of its economy. (Bloomberg)

US: Consumer spending, investment increase
Americans increased spending in November for a fifth straight month and companies stepped up orders for equipment, more evidence the US economy is gaining momentum heading into 2011. Household purchases rose 0.4% after a 0.7% increase in October that was almost twice as large as previously estimated, figures from the Commerce Department showed. The agency also reported a 2.6% gain in bookings for capital goods like computers and electronics. (Bloomberg)

US: Home prices probably fell, confidence up
Home prices probably dropped in October, a sign housing will remain a weak link as the US recovery accelerates into the new year, economists said before reports this week. Property values in 20 cities were down 0.2% from October 2009, the first year-over-year decline since January, according to the median forecast of 14 economists surveyed ahead of a report from S&P/Case-Shiller. Other data the same day may show consumer confidence rose to a seven-month high in December. (Bloomberg)

20101227 0958 Malaysia Corporate Related News.

No listing plan for Petronas Carigali
National oil company Petroliam Nasional Bhd (Petronas) has shot down market talk that it will list wholly-owned exploration and production unit Petronas Carigali SB. “We have no plans to list Petronas Carigali or any other unit,’’ a Petronas spokesperson told StarBizWeek when contacted last Friday. Several business dailies last Saturday quoted MIDF Amanah Investment Bank Bhd’s research head as saying that Petronas Carigali could list on Bursa Malaysia next year in a move to draw foreign funds. The research head said that analysts had been told by Bursa officials of a possible initial public offering (IPO) for Petronas Carigali. However, Bursa clarified in a media statement yesterday evening that its listing department had not received any new listing application by Petronas. (StarBiz)

AirAsia boss says no plan to buy Virgin
 AirAsia Bhd group chief executive officer Datuk Seri Tony Fernandez denies there are any plan to buy a stake in British airline Virgin Atlantic as reported by the Sunday Times newspaper. “There are no discussions taking place,’’ he told StarBiz from London yesterday. The Sunday Times said in an unsourced report yesterday that Fernandez, who runs Asia’s largest Budget carrier by fleet size, had renewed his interest in the UK airline after previously considering and deciding against a bid. Any deal could be worth up to GBP1bn, the newspaper said. (StarBiz)

Siemens eyes rail jobs
Siemens, a global expert in rail transport technology, is preparing to bid for several potentially lucrative railrelated tenders in Malaysia. Several such jobs are expected to be offered in the near future, including the supply of 40 locomotives for rail company Keretapi Tanah Melayu Bhd (KTMB), the Ampang light rail transit (LRT) extension and possibly the Kuala Lumpur-Singapore high speed train project. Siemens also plans to bid for the Ampang LRT extension project in which tender is set to be out on 11 Jan 11 next year. "What the industry expects, especially for the Ampang line, is that the specification will be open enough to establish competition. (We understand) for the Ampang line, the specification will be more extensive, so it means that companies like Siemens and other big supply companies would be interested to go for it," said Muench (Mobility Division Head Siemens Malaysia). He said the job for the 17km extension, which would include signalling systems, electrification and communications, among other things, could be worth in the region of between RM200m and RM300m. (BT)

RM44.3m charges stem from write-downs in collateral values, says K&N Kenanga
K&N Kenanga Holdings Bhd said additional impairment of RM44.3m, which will be reflected in its fourth-quarter results, stems from write-downs in collateral values relating to a loan and an investment in an associate company. In a statement on Friday, K&N Kenanga said although the impairment would reflect negatively on the group's profit and loss figures, its operating profit for the nine-month period ended Sept 30, 2010, excluding the impairment figure, remained positive at RM40.4m against RM26.9m in the same period in 2009. "The preimpairment operating profit for the group represents a growth of 50.2%," it said. (StarBiz)

Epic has no plans to go private
Eastern Industrial Pacific Corp Bhd (Epic) has dismissed suggestions that the company will be taken private, following the sale of a 21.26% stake by Ahmad Zaki Resources Bhd (AZRB) to Lembaga Tabung Amanah Warisan Negeri Terengganu. Its chief executive officer Ramli Shahul Hameed said Epic wants to remain as a listed company on Bursa Malaysia. "To Epic's knowledge, there is no such plan (to take the company private) ... We want to maintain the listing status," he told Business Times in an interview recently. Prior to the acquisition of AZRB's stake, Epic had also announced a 10% share buyback plan early in the year. Ramli explained that the share buyback was planned earlier so that the state government would be able to control the company, but it does not really matter now that Lembaga Tabung Warisan Negeri Terengganu has acquired AZRB's stake. "Yes, we have started buying the stakes through share buybacks but we have yet to complete the exercise. We have secured the approval to continue with the share buyback exercise. (BT)

Kimlun keen to bid for tunnel lining jobs in MRT project
KIimlun Corp Bhd said it is keen to bid for the tunnel lining segments job packages in the RM14bn Sungai Buloh- Kuala Lumpur-Kajang mass rapid transit (MRT) line project. "Yes, we would like to bid for (relevant) parts of the project. We have experience in making MRT tunnel segments," chief executive officer Sim Tian Liang told Business Times in an interview in Kuala Lumpur. Kimlun's unit SPC Industries Sdn Bhd is one of the very few active tunnel lining segments suppliers in the country, the others being MTD ACPI Engineering Bhd and Hong Leong Asia Pte Ltd. It has a construction and pre-cast products order book of RM800m as at September this year. As one of the largest manufacturer of pre-cast concrete products in Johor, Kimlun has been supplying tunnel lining segments for the Singapore MRT extension project. "Although we're based in Johor, it is not a problem for us to supply to the Greater KL MRT project. When the government starts to roll out the job packages in mid-2011, we can always lease land in Klang Valley and set up a casting yard there," Sim said. (BT)   

20101227 0842 Crude Palm Oil Export Data.

SGS CPO export down 23.7% to 1,040,145 tonnes for the period of 1~25 Dec 2010.
ITS CPO export down 23.9% to 1,003,459 tonnes for the period of 1~25 Dec 2010.

20101227 0841 Global Market Related News.

Oil eases from two-year high after Chinese interest rate hike
SINGAPORE, Dec 27 (Reuters) - Oil eased from two-year  highs as uncertainty over Chinese fuel demand growth  following a Christmas Day interest rate hike overshadowed a  cold snap in the U.S. Northeast.
"China's interest rate hike is having some impact on the  oil markets... because of concerns over how the tightening of  monetary policy will impact demand growth," said Serene Lim,  an oil analyst at ANZ.

World economy can withstand $100 oil price-Kuwait
CAIRO, Dec 25 (Reuters) - The global economy can withstand an oil price of $100 a barrel, Kuwait's oil minister said on Saturday, as other exporters indicated OPEC may decide against increasing output through 2011 as the market was well supplied.
Analysts have said oil producing countries are likely to raise output after crude rallied more than 30 percent from a low in May because they fear prices could damage economic growth in fuel importing countries.

U.S. wheat falls from 4-1/2 month top on China rate hike
SINGAPORE, Dec 27 (Reuters) - U.S. wheat futures slid 0.7  percent, falling from  a 4-1/2 month top, while  soybeans and corn lost ground after China raised interest  rates on Christmas Day, the latest in a series of measures to  cool inflation.
"It will be bearish for agricultural prices... but we  believe the impact will be short-lived and not hit the bullish  trend," said Wang Ping, an analyst with Dongwu Futures in  China.

Gold recovers some loss, bargain hunting supports
SINGAPORE, Dec 27 (Reuters) - Spot gold regained some  ground and platinum group metals returned to positive  territory, as bargain hunting lent support, after prices lost  about one percent in early trade in response to China's  interest rate increase on Saturday.
"Earlier speculators were selling on China's rate hike  news, but a lot of buying has since emerged as speculators are  buying on dip," said a Tokyo-based dealer.

China rate hike weighs on Aussie, commodities
HONG KONG, Dec 27 (Reuters) - The Australian dollar and  commodity prices slid following an interest rate  hike by China's central bank over the Christmas weekend, but  volumes were light due to holidays in the final week of 2010.
"Expect Asian markets to be tempered into the last trading  week of the year. The cautious tone and lower turnover this  month compel the case for further consolidation," said Howie.  

OIL: Oil falls below $91 after China interest rate hike
SINGAPORE, Dec 27 (Reuters) - Oil prices fell below $91 on  Monday after China raised interest rates for the second time  in just over two months to cool inflation which is running at  its highest in over two years.
The global economy can withstand an oil price of $100 a barrel, Kuwait's oil minister said, as other exporters indicated OPEC may decide against increasing output through 2011 as the market was well supplied.

COMMODITY MARKETS: Oil ends above $91 pre-Christmas; sugar, soy rally
NEW YORK, Dec 23 (Reuters) - Oil ended at a two-year high above $91 per barrel while soybean and sugar prices surged on Thursday as investors tightened their focus on fundamentals in commodities in the last session before Christmas.
"You can almost feel the will for good economic recovery and growth worldwide as we head into 2011," RBC Capital Markets said in a research note out of London.

GLOBAL MARETS: Stocks, oil rise in festive cheer
PARIS, Dec 24 (Reuters) - World stocks held near the previous day's two-year high on Friday while oil hit fresh two-year peaks after strong U.S. data this week encouraged investors to maintain their risk positions into 2011.
"We've had a good run, helped by quantitative easing and better economic data," said Bernard McAlinden, investment strategist at NCB Stockbrokers in Dublin. "We've broken out of ranges, and it can go higher in 2011."

The surprise timing of the People's Bank of China (PBOC) increase in benchmark lending and deposit interest rates is likely to weigh on commodity markets when trading starts on Monday.On Christmas Day, the PBOC raised rates by 25 basis points, the second rate rise in just over two months, part of a series of measures designed to combat inflation which hit a 28-month high of 5.1 percent in November. 
The opportunity to cash in on prices at or near their highest in years before the year end could mean the correction this time may be greater than the losses following the last interest rate hike in October.

US data reinforce solid fourth-quarter growth hopes
WASHINGTON, Dec 23 (Reuters) - Demand for a range of long-lasting U.S. manufactured goods surged in November and consumer spending rose for a fifth straight month, cementing views of a solid economic growth pace in the fourth quarter.
The brightening outlook was also bolstered by other reports on Thursday showing an improving labor market and consumer sentiment, though housing continues to struggle.

China to gear up fight against inflation
BEIJING, Dec 24 (Reuters) - China's central bank kept up its rhetoric against inflation and excess liquidity on Friday by saying it will deploy a range of policy tools to head off inflationary pressures and asset bubbles.
Hu Xiaolian, a deputy governor at the People's Bank of China, said monetary policy in the world's second-largest economy needs to be prudent to tame inflation, which hit a 28-month high of 5.1 percent in November.

S.Korea faces inflation, asset bubble risks-min
SEOUL, Dec 24 (Reuters) - South Korea 's finance minister said the country needs to brace for inflationary pressures sparked by rising global liquidity and commodities prices in 2011, and an interest rate rise to address the risk of asset price bubbles.
Yoon Jeung-hyun told an economy-related ministerial meeting on Friday that higher international oil, metals and grain prices could pressure supply-side prices in line with growing liquidity and expansion in emerging economies.

PRECIOUS-Gold rises towards $1,385/oz as dollar retreats
LONDON, Dec 24 (Reuters) - Gold prices edged higher in Europe on Friday, supported by the euro's rebound from a three-week low versus the dollar, and as a further ratings downgrade stoked concerns over euro zone debt.
Fitch Ratings downgraded Portugal's long-term and local currency ratings by one notch to A-plus late on Thursday, with a negative outlook.

FOREX-Euro steady in thin trade, sentiment fragile
LONDON, Dec 24 (Reuters) - The euro was steady on Friday after rebounding from a record low against the Swiss franc and a three-week low versus the dollar, but any gains were curbed as investors remained wary about euro zone debt problems.
Trade was extremely thin, with few orders going through so close to the Christmas holidays, resulting in limited movement in any major currency pair.

Friday, December 24, 2010

20101224 1829 FCPO EOD Daily Chart Study.

FCPO closed : 3665, changed : +7 points, volume : lower.
Bollinger band reading : side way range bound upside biased.
MACD Histrogram : recovering, buyer continue stay put.
Support : 3650, 3620, 3550 level.
Resistance : 3700, 3720, 3750 level.
Comment :
Low participation FCPO recorded small gain with quiet volume traded ahead of next Monday export data release after soy oil and crude oil futures price traded and closed for the holiday higher.
Another small body up doji bar candle day (the 5th continuous) edge up little higher a longer lower shadow while the Bollinger band width continue to turn inwards suggesting a side way range bound upside biased market development.
When to buy : buy at support and weakness with quick cut loss and profit target.
When to sell : sell at resistant or strength with quick cut loss and profit target.

20101224 1819 FKLI EOD Daily Chart Study.

FKLI closed : 1516.5, changed : -0.5 point,  volume : lower.
Bollinger band reading : side way range bound upside biased.
MACD Histrogram : rising, buyer still holding on.
Support : 1515, 1500, 1485 level.
Resistance : 1530, 1550, 1580 level.
Comment :
Holiday mood FKLI traded quietly closed 1 tick lower with much lower volume changed hand as most regional markets closed recorded small loss.
Daily chart formed the 3rd doji bar candle with longer lower shadow after market tested below 1515 support level and recovered while the Bollinger band stop turning inwards suggesting a side way range bound upside biased market development.
When to buy : buy at support or weakness with quick cut loss and profit target.
When to sell : sell at resistant or strength with quick cut loss and profit target.

20101224 1121 Global Economics Related News.

Singapore: Inflation accelerated to 22-month high in November
Singapore’s inflation rate rose to the highest level since January 2009, an acceleration that may put pressure on the central bank to allow further currency appreciation to curb price increases. The consumer price index climbed 3.8% in November from a year earlier, after gaining 3.5% in October, Singapore’s Department of Statistics said in a statement. That matched the median estimate of 14 economists surveyed by Bloomberg News. Prices rose 0.3% from October, without adjusting for seasonal factors. (Bloomberg)

India: Food inflation accelerates as onion costs jump
India’s food inflation accelerated to a six-week high, adding pressure on authorities to curb a jump in onion prices that has forced the nation to halt exports of the staple this week and toppled governments in the past. An index measuring wholesale prices of agricultural products including lentils, rice and vegetables compiled by the commerce ministry rose 12.13% in the week ended 11 Dec from a year earlier, a trade ministry report showed in New Delhi. The index gained 9.46% the previous week. (Bloomberg)

South Korea: Consumer confidence declines on jobs, growth outlook
South Korean consumer confidence declined in December as people became less optimistic about the economy and job prospects. The sentiment index fell to 109 from 110 in November, the Bank of Korea said. A number exceeding 100 indicates optimists outnumber pessimists. The central bank left borrowing costs at 2.5% this month after an appreciation in the nation’s currency contributed to a moderation in economic expansion. It increased interest rates by a quarter percentage-point each in July and November from a record-low 2%. GDP growth will cool to 4.5% next year, from 6.1% in 2010, the monetary authority said. (Bloomberg)

US: New home sales, prices rise in Nov
New US single-family home sales rose in November but to a lower-than-expected rate, a government report showed, highlighting the weakness in the housing market even as the broader economic recovery gains momentum. The Commerce Department said sales increased 5.5% to a seasonally adjusted 290,000 unit annual rate after a downwardly revised 275,000 unit pace in October. (Bloomberg)

US: Consumer spending increase, jobless claims dip
Americans increased spending in November for a fifth straight month and companies stepped up orders for equipment, more evidence the US economy is gaining momentum heading into 2011. Household purchases rose 0.4% after a 0.7% increase in October that was almost twice as large as previously estimated, figures from the Commerce Department showed. Rising incomes and stock prices are giving consumers the wherewithal to boost the purchases that account for 70% of the world’s largest economy. A drop in claims for jobless benefits indicates employers are slowing the pace of firings, a step toward cutting unemployment from close to a 26-year high. (Bloomberg)

20101224 1120 Malaysia Corporate Related News.

Sime Darby files civil suit
Sime Darby has filed a civil suit against its former president and group chief executive Datuk Seri Ahmad Zubir Murshid and four senior executives claiming RM337.63m in damages for alleged breach of duties in three projects under the troubled energy and utilities division.(Financial Daily)

PLUS directors extend deadline for new bids
The independent directors of PLUS extended the period for new offers to buy the group's business to 10 Jan, 2011 from the earlier announced deadline of 5pm yesterday. (StarBiz)

US firm looking at Adventa acquisition
Rubber glove manufacturer Adventa hit limit up yesterday on speculation that it could be a potential acquisition target by a US healthcare firm for the upstream integration of its healthcare business. It was also rumored earlier that the US firm had previously been in preliminary talks with Top Glove but had decided Top Glove was too big a manufacturer, which would be too expensive. (Financial Daily)

Proton planning two-seater sports car that would look like Lotus
 Proton Holdings plans to produce a two-seater sports car in two years. Proton corporate planning general manager Badrulhisham Mohd Ghazali said the vehicle would not be a hatch-back type like Satria Neo but would look like the legendary Lotus. (StarBiz) Internal BToto discussions consider strategic investor Berjaya Sports Toto (BToto) has had preliminary discussions internally on a possible corporate exercise which may result in the entry of a strategic investor, it told Bursa Malaysia yesterday. It said that while there had been initial contact with several potential strategic investors, no negotiation had been conducted with any strategic investor at this juncture, as internal discussions and planning were still ongoing. (StarBiz)

Nusajaya to develop RM670m project
Nusajaya Consolidated SB, a 50:50 joint venture between UEM Land and United Malayan Land (UMLand), will develop 6.7 acres in Nusajaya, Johor, into a mixed development project with a gross development value of RM670m. UMLand said in a statement to Bursa Malaysia that NCSB yesterday signed an agreement with Bandar Nusajaya Development SB to acquire the freehold land in Nusajaya for RM49.6m in cash. The proposed development, to comprise commercial, residential and retail components, will be developed over four years and is expected to yield a gross profit of RM160m. It is located in Puteri Harbour, an integrated waterfront and marina development spanning 278.42ha within Nusajaya and Iskandar Malaysia. (StarBiz)

Pintaras unit wins RM26m job
Pintaras Jaya’s wholly owned subsidiary, Pintaras Geothecnics SB, had been awarded a contract worth RM26.1m by Exceljade SB. The contract will see Pintaras Undertake earthwork, piling including pilecap and stumps for development of service apartments at Jalan Tun Razak. Jalan Raja Muda Abdul Aziz in the city. The project will start contributing positively to errnings. (Bernama)

Government funded MRT
The Government will set up a special vehicle company (SPV) to channel total funding for the proposed greater KL mass rapid transit (MRT) project. Land Public Transport Commission (SPAD) chief executive officer Mohd Nur Ismal Kamal said the multi-billion ringgit project will not be undertaken on a turnkey basis and contractors need not seek financing. All MRT job packages will be tendered out to both local and international contractors. (Bernama) 

20101224 1116 Global Market Related News.

Rising Food Prices Point To China Policy Challenges -UN Envoy (Source : CME)
Sharp increases in food prices highlight shrinking arable land and land degradation in China, putting at risk the country's ability to sustain increases in agricultural production, a senior United Nations official said. The sharp agricultural product price rally this year has fed into the highest inflation levels in 28 months, even as China said earlier this month it secured a seventh consecutive record grain harvest. Despite the rising output numbers, Olivier De Schutter, the United Nations Special Rapporteur on the right to food, indicated that food inflation pointed to deeper policy problems. "The recent food price hikes in China are a harbinger of what may be lying ahead," he wrote in a release published along with a six-page report on the situation in China. "The widening gap between rural and urban is an important challenge to the right to food of the Chinese population," he said.
Since 1997 China has lost 8.2 million hectares of arable land to urbanization, industrialization, forest replanting programs and natural disasters, he said. "Today, 37% of China's total territory suffers from land degradation." Shrinking arable land poses a major threat to China's policy aim of maintaining self-sufficiency in grains and will fuel competition over land and land evictions, de Schutter said. He urged Beijing to accelerate the pace of sustainable farming and move toward more low-carbon agriculture, as well as address a widening urban-rural income gap and phase out a household registration system that deprives rural migrant workers from access to basic services in cities.

US home sales bounce back, 3rd-quarter GDP raised
WASHINGTON, Dec 22 (Reuters) - Sales of previously owned U.S. homes rose in November, offering the latest sign the economy was ending the year on a more solid footing after a sluggish third-quarter.
The Commerce Department on Wednesday said the economy grew at an annual rate of 2.6 percent in the third quarter, a touch above its earlier 2.5 percent estimate, but more of that output ended up in warehouses.

China top banker sees rate rises
SHANGHAI/BEIJING, Dec 23 (Reuters) - China Construction Bank Corp (CCB)  Chairman Guo Shuqing said he expects the government to raise interest rates and lift bank required reserve ratios (RRR) further next year.
Guo, former head of the State Administration of Foreign Exchange (SAFE) and widely seen as a candidate for the next central bank governor, told Xinhua News Agency that the moves were aimed at reining in money supply and bank credit.

PRECIOUS-Gold holds above $1,380/oz as debt fears support
LONDON, Dec 23 (Reuters) - Gold held steady above $1,380 an ounce in Europe on Thursday as trade thinned ahead of the Christmas holidays, but was set for its first weekly gain in three as worries over euro zone sovereign debt lent support.
Spot gold  was bid at $1,383.65 an ounce at 1033 GMT, against $1,384.55 late in New York on Wednesday. U.S. gold futures for February delivery  fell $3.10 to $1,384.30.

FOREX-China support steadies euro, outlook shaky into 2011
LONDON, Dec 23 (Reuters) - The euro steadied against the dollar and the Swiss franc on Thursday, helped by supportive comments from China, but analysts said the outlook for the single currency was shaky, with fresh losses expected into 2011.
Liquidity was at a premium in currency markets ahead of year-end, with traders saying flows were having a bigger impact on price than fundamentals.

U.S. wheat at 4-1/2 month top, soy, corn firm
SINGAPORE, Dec 23 (Reuters) - U.S. wheat rose 0.4 percent  to a 4-1/2 month high as fears of tight global supplies next  year and talk of Russia's extension on grain exports  underpinned the market."The grain markets are in follow-through price mode as Australia is still supportive for wheat, although the market  has factored it in. And there are ongoing rumours that Russia  may extend the export ban," said Ker Chung Yang, an analyst at  Phillip Futures in Singapore.

World stocks scale two-year highs; oil firm
PARIS, Dec 23 (Reuters) - World stocks hit their highest level since September 2008 on Thursday while oil held near a two-year peak as favourable U.S. data reinforced expectations economic growth will retain momentum into next year."The corporate picture still looks very bright, the trend towards higher profits is going to continue and public policies should remain shareholder-friendly," said Henk Potts, equity strategist at Barclays Wealth. 

20101224 1115 Soy Oil & Palm Oil Related News.

US Soy oil futures market closed today due to Christmas Eve Day.

CBOT soy products ended higher as soybeans rallied on strong demand. The U.S. Census crush report was in line with expectation, and showed crushing of soybeans into soymeal and oil was down from the prior month, which analysts said was due to weaker processing margins. Jan soymeal ended up $7.30, or 2.1%, to $360 per short ton. Jan soyoil closed up 0.62 cent, or 1.1%, to 56.59 cents per pound. The market will be closed Friday for the Christmas holiday.  (Source: CME)

Palm off 1-week high on China restocking, weather
KUALA LUMPUR, Dec 23 (Reuters) - Malaysian crude palm oil  futures ended off one-week highs on Thursday, as China  unveiled plans to restock agriculture commodities at a time  when erratic weather globally may curb supplies."The weather story now includes a China story, which will  see gains across most the of the agricultural complex," said a  trader with a foreign commodities brokerage.

Uruguayan farmers seen planting record soy area
MONTEVIDEO, Dec 22 (Reuters) - Farmers in Uruguay are expected to dedicate a record high area to soybeans in the 2010/11 season, despite concerns that dry weather linked to La Nina could hit crops, a government poll showed on Wednesday.
Uruguayan soy output is tiny when compared with that of its South American neighbors Brazil, Argentina and Paraguay -- the world's second, third, and fourth biggest soy exporters, respectively. 

Thursday, December 23, 2010

20101223 1828 FCPO EOD Daily Chart Study.

FCPO closed : 3658, changed : +38 points, volume : higher.
Bollinger band reading : correction range bound upside biased.
MACD Histrogram : recovering, buyer continue to hold on.
Support : 3650, 3620, 3550 level.
Resistance : 3700, 3720, 3750 level.
Comment :
Rebounding FCPO recorded gain for the 3rd day with improving volume transacted after Indonesia official confirmed CPO export tax to increase to 20% while soy oil and crude oil futures prices continue to lift higher.
Daily chart formed an small body up doji bar candle continue rebounding higher since touched middle Bollinger band support level 5 days ago with still a correction range bound upside biased market reading testing higher resistance level near upper Bollinger band.
When to buy : buy at support and weakness with quick cut loss and profit target.
When to sell : sell at resistant or strength with quick cut loss and profit target.

20101223 1818 FKLI EOD Daily Chart Study.

FKLI closed : 1517, changed : +1 point,  volume : lower.
Bollinger band reading : side way range bound little upside biased.
MACD Histrogram : rising, buyer taking small position.
Support : 1515, 1500, 1485 level.
Resistance : 1530, 1550, 1580 level.
Comment :
FKLI managed to closed recorded 2 ticks gain with better volume transacted despite most regional market closed in the red as Korean affairs tension continues and ahead of Christmas holiday in the U.S.
Daily chart formed an small body up doji bar candle with longer upper and lower shadow traded range bound through out the day while the Bollinger band started to turned inwards today suggesting a continue side way range bound little upside biased market development testing support and resistance level.
When to buy : buy at support or weakness with quick cut loss and profit target.
When to sell : sell at resistant or strength with quick cut loss and profit target.

20101223 1520 Breaking News.

Oil hovers near 2-year high, eyes $91 on rising demand
SINGAPORE, Dec 23 (Reuters) - Oil prices climbed near a  two-year high, boosted by an unexpected surge in  global demand that has fueled the biggest drop in U.S. crude  stockpiles in more than a decade.
"Oil has risen as... inventories have fallen more than  expected due to the cold weather in the northern hemisphere,"  said Serene Lim, an oil analyst at ANZ, adding that prices  would need to rise above $110 before impacting economic growth.

China commercial crude stocks fall for 3rd mth in Nov
BEIJING, Dec 23 (Reuters) - China's commercial crude oil inventories fell for a third consecutive month in November, as refiners tapped stockpiles to feed plants operating at capacity to fend off a domestic diesel shortage.
Data from a newsletter run by the official Xinhua News Agency showed that commercial crude stocks at the end of November fell 3.2 percent from a month earlier.

U.S. wheat at 4-1/2 month top, soy, corn firm
SINGAPORE, Dec 23 (Reuters) - U.S. wheat rose 0.4 percent  to a 4-1/2 month high as fears of tight global supplies next  year and talk of Russia's extension on grain exports  underpinned the market.
"The grain markets are in follow-through price mode as Australia is still supportive for wheat, although the market  has factored it in. And there are ongoing rumours that Russia  may extend the export ban," said Ker Chung Yang, an analyst at  Phillip Futures in Singapore.

Strike halts six Argentine soy-crushing plants
BUENOS AIRES, Dec 22 (Reuters) - A strike by soy-processing   workers in Argentina's biggest grains port halted at least six   plants on Wednesday, disrupting crushing in the world's No. 1   soyoil and meal exporter and helping lift U.S. soyoil futures.
Crushing plants in and around the city of Rosario account   for about 80 percent of Argentine soybean oil and meal output   and the one-day-old pay strike is hitting plants owned by major   exporters such as Cargill, Louis Dreyfus and Bunge. 

20101223 0924 Local & Global Economics Related News.

Malaysia: CPI up 2% y-o-y in November
Malaysia’s consumer price index, a measure of inflation, rose a lower-than-expected 2% in November from a year ago, with corresponding increases in the non-food as well as food and non-alcoholic beverages indices. The Department of Statistics said the index for non-food items, and food and non-alcoholic beverages increased 1.4% and 3% respectively in November compared with the same period a year ago. (Financial Daily)

Japan: Export growth accelerated to 9.1% in November
Japan’s export growth accelerated for the first time in nine months as a rebound in global demand helped the nation’s economy withstand the yen’s advance to a 15-year high. Overseas shipments rose 9.1% in November from a year earlier, from October’s 7.8% gain, the Finance Ministry. The median estimate of 19 economists surveyed was for a 10.3% increase. (Bloomberg)

UK: BOE splits three ways as inflation concerns increase
Bank of England policy makers split three ways for a third month on the need for economic stimulus as some officials became more concerned that Britain’s bout of inflation may persist. Adam Posen kept up his demand to increase the GBP300bn bond-purchase plan by GBP50bn. Andrew Sentence voted to raise interest rate for a seventh month and the rest ensured no change in policy. (Bloomberg)

US: Sales of existing homes rise less than forecast
Sales of existing homes rose less than forecast in November as the industry that triggered the worst US recession in seven decades struggled to recover after a government tax credit lapsed. Purchases increased 5.6% from the prior month to a 4.6m annual rate, the National Association of Realtors said. Economists projected that sales would rise to a 4.75m pace, according to the median forecast. (Bloomberg)

US: GDP grew less than forecast, inflation cooled
The US economy grew less than forecast in the third quarter and inflation unexpectedly cooled, highlighting why the Federal Reserve plans to keep pumping money into financial markets. The revised 2.6% increase in GDP compares with a 2.5% estimate issued last month and was less than the median forecast of a 2.8% in a survey, a Commerce Department report showed. Consumer costs for goods and services, excluding food and fuel, climbed at the slowest pace since records began in 1959. (Bloomberg)

20101223 0923 Malaysia Corporate Related News.

Proton: Plans to make two-seater sports car. Proton Holdings Bhd plans to produce a two-seater sports car in two years. The vehicle would not be a hatch-back type like Satria Neo but would look like the legendary Lotus. Meanwhile, Proton is planning to replace Saga's current platform that has been used for eight years with a new platform in five years. (Source: The Star)

MAS: Ties up with KLM. Malaysia Airlines (MAS) and Dutch airline KLM are set to explore closer links with each other, including, greater connectivity, better schedules, more choices for customers as well as cost reduction. The MoU with KLM is significant as Malaysia is an ideal transit point for visitors from Australasia and Europe. (Source: The Star)

MMC-Gamuda: Govt negotiating MRT project fees. The Government is in the midst of negotiating with mass rapid transit (MRT) project delivery partner (PDP) MMC-Gamuda JV Sdn Bhd on the fees for managing the project, which would have to be delivered within an agreed timeframe and cost. Industry observers believe that MMC-Gamuda is likely to get the tunneling parcel of the project worth RM13b to RM14b. Approximately 20% of the 65km line would be underground. (Source: The Star)

Infrastructure: Local firms set to pounce on India highway projects. Malaysian construction companies are expected to be involved in the massive development of highways in India as early as the first half of next year under the recently inked memorandum of understanding (MoU) between the two governments. Malaysian construction players are slated to participate in the development of 1,000km of highways in India that could potentially be worth RM17.5b. (Source: The Star)

Banking: M'sia to offer syariah hedging derivatives. Standard Chartered Plc and Bank Islam Malaysia Bhd plan to offer syariah-compliant derivatives in Malaysia that will allow investors to hedge against interest rates and commodity prices. Standard Chartered will begin selling contracts in the first quarter that provide protection from fluctuations in the cost of items such as rice and oil. Meanwhile, Bank Islam Malaysia will offer swaps. (Source: The Star)

L&G: To develop upscale housing project in Seremban. Land & General Bhd (L&G) plans to develop an upscale residential development with estimated gross development value of RM555m in Seremban. The properties in Tuanku Jaafar Golf & Country Resort of Seremban would be developed into bungalow lots, double-storey cluster semi-detached houses, link cluster houses and apartments. (Source: The Star)

Olympia: Still in the race for Pan Malaysian Pools. Olympia Industries Bhd expressed that it was still pursuing its bid to acquire Pan Malaysian Pools Sdn Bhd from Tanjong plc. However, Olympia has yet to determine its expected offer price for Pan Malaysian Pools and the expected date of submission for the offer. (Source: The Edge Financial Daily)

PLUS to buy time
The battle for PLUS Expressways, Southeast Asia's biggest toll highway company, is likely to go down to the wire as the deadline looms at 5pm today. UEM Group and the Employees Provident Fund (EPF), which have bid RM23bn or RM4.60 a share, is pitted against little-known Jelas Ulung SB’s RM26bn, or RM5.20 apiece offer. PLUS will seek to suspend its shareholder meeting today to evaluate all takeover offers. It will then call for a fresh EGM in early January. (BT)

Possibility of strategic investors for BToto
Berjaya Corp (BCorp) has hired investment bankers to look into the possibility of undertaking a corporate exercise that could see the entry of strategic private investors into the group’s cash cow Berjaya Sports Toto (BToto), said sources. “A foreign investment bank has been appointed to look into the job. The strategic private investors that could emerge in the company include foreign investors. The bankers are exploring a few possible corporate exercises, which include the one Magnum (Corp) underwent a couple of years back that had involved its privatisation,’ said a source. (FinancialDaily)

UEM Land gets shareholders’ nod for RM1.3bn Sunrise buy
UEM Land Holdings has received shareholders’ approval for the proposed acquisition of property developer, Sunrise for RM1.39bn, or RM2.80 per share. “The extraordinary EGM resolution for the takeover has been passed by shareholders along with the special resolution to increase our share capital,” UEM Land chairman, Tan Sri Dr Ahmad Tajuddin Ali told reporters. (MalaysianReserve)

NV Multi moves into steel sector
NV Multi Corp, previously a bereavement-care company, is venturing into the steel business. It has entered into a restructuring agreement whereby AYS Ventures SB (Newco), a special-purpose-vehicle that will assume its listing status, would acquire Ann Yak Siong Hardware SB (AYSH) and its subsidiaries for RM172m. The AYSH group comprises hardware stockists that trade in steel and nonferrous products serving the engineering, fabrication, construction and building industries. It is also involved in the production and sale of light steel sectional products and sectional storage tanks. (Starbiz)

Boustead signs pact
Boustead Holdings has signed a memorandum of understanding with DRIR Equities SB and Tulus Sejagat SB with the intention to buy a 51% stake in MHS Aviation and a 51% stake in a special purpose vehicle that will purchase all the aircraft and helicopters owned by DRIR Equities. The entire acquisition is not expected to exceed RM100m. (BT)   

20101223 0919 Renewables Energy Related News.

BEIJING, Dec 22 (Reuters) - China will invest 5.3 trillion yuan ($796 billion) in the power sector in the next five years, up 68 percent from 2006-2010, the Economic Information Daily reported on Wednesday, citing an official research study.
Of the investments, around 2.75 trillion yuan or 52 percent will be spent on power generation and 2.55 trillion yuan will be spent on grid networks, the paper said, citing a study by the China Electricity Council.

RIO DE JANEIRO, Dec 21 (Reuters) - After winning global praise for protecting its Amazon forests, Brazil now faces another tricky obstacle to cutting its carbon emissions -- the gases produced by its booming economy.
International pressure for reductions to slash-and-burn deforestation led Brazil to cut illegal Amazon logging by 34 percent from 2004 to 2009, making it one of the few nations at climate talks in Cancun to show progress against global warming.

LOS ANGELES, Dec 21 (Reuters) - A unit of Spanish conglomerate Abengoa SA  said it got the final sign-off on the U.S. Department of Energy's largest renewable-energy loan to date, a $1.45 billion loan guarantee for a 250-megawatt solar thermal power plant in Gila Bend, Arizona.
The loan guarantee helps advance the nation's broad goals of building up renewable energy resources and lessening its dependence on fossil fuels.

NEW YORK, Dec 21 (Reuters) - The U.S. Department of Interior has approved solar power developer Solar Reserve’s proposed 110-megawatt Crescent Dunes solar thermal power plant capable of storing energy in Nevada.
SolarReserve plans to start construction in the middle of 2011, the Santa Monica, California company said in a statement.

NEW YORK, Dec 21 (Reuters) - Atlantic Wind Connection filed with federal energy regulators for permission to build a giant power transmission project in the Atlantic Ocean along the U.S. Mid-Atlantic coast to enable the region's offshore wind potential, a spokesman for the project said Tuesday.
Announced in October, the project will stretch from New Jersey to Virginia and enable up to 6,000 megawatts of wind power that could be built out of sight from land, enough to serve about 1.9 million homes with carbon-free power.

LOS ANGELES, Dec. 17 (Reuters) - The renewable energy industry cheered the passage of the U.S. tax bill, which included a provision to extend a generous grant program for projects in the fast-growing sector.
The grant program allows qualifying renewable energy projects such as solar and geothermal power plants to apply for a Treasury Department grant that covers up to 30 percent of costs. Until U.S. President Barack Obama signed the bill into law on Friday, the program was slated to expire on Dec. 31, 2010.

MILAN, Dec 20 (Reuters) - Italy's total installed photovoltaic (PV) capacity is seen rising to nearly 3,000 megawatt (MW) at the end of 2010, state energy services agency GSE said in a statement on Monday.
In 2010 alone, new installed photovoltaic capacity is estimated at above 1,500 MW, more than doubling compared with 720 MW installed in 2009, GSE said.

PARIS, Dec 20 (Reuters) - France's solar industry could suffer a big blow by government moves to deflate a speculative bubble fed by a boom in connection demands and a backlog of solar power projects in the pipeline.
The French government said this month it wanted to cut the number of solar power projects and above-market purchase tariffs for the renewable electricity for the third time this year.

TOKYO, Dec 20 (Reuters) - Japanese trading house Itochu Corp  said on Monday it and Spain's Abengoa Solar  will build and own two 50-megawatt solar thermal plants in southern Spain in a project costing more than 500 million euros ($660 million).
Itochu will take a 30 percent stake in the project, while Spain's solar mirror power plant builder Abengoa will hold the rest. The plants will start operating in 2012.
NEW YORK, Dec 17 (Reuters) - The U.S. Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) on Thursday approved the Midwest ISO's plan to allocate the cost of building power lines that connect renewable energy projects needed to meet the public interest goals of many states.
MISO said these so-called Multi Value Projects that have a regional impact and are part of a regional plan will now have a 100 percent regional allocation of costs, ensuring the cost to upgrade the transmission system is distributed fairly to all involved.

COPENHAGEN, Dec 17 (Reuters) - Danish wind turbine manufacturer Vestas  has won an order for 48 turbines with total capacity of 144 megawatts for a wind power development in Scotland, the customer said on Friday.
The order was placed by EDF Energy Renewables, a joint venture of EDF Energy and EDF Energies Nouvelles , North British Windpower -- the project company -- said in a statement.

20101223 0918 Biofuels Related News.

WASHINGTON, Dec 21 (Reuters) - A federal appeals court on Tuesday rejected a challenge from U.S. oil companies and refiners against the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency for retroactively imposing ethanol blending levels and volume requirements for gasoline sales.
Federal law requires the EPA to set by Nov. 30 each year the amount of ethanol that must make up U.S. gasoline sales for the following year. For 2010, biofuels have to account for 8.25 percent of gasoline sales.

WASHINGTON, Dec 17 (Reuters) - U.S. ethanol makers face a battle over reforming subsidies next year after current incentives are rolled over in the tax package signed into law by President Barack Obama on Friday.
The new law extends the 45-cents-per-gallon blenders' credit worth up to $6 billion a year and the 54-cents-per-gallon tariff on imports through 2011. It also revives through 2011 an incentive of $1.00 per gallon for the smaller biodiesel industry which expired at the end of 2009.

WASHINGTON, Dec 20 (Reuters) - U.S. auto and engine makers sued the Environmental Protection Agency on Monday for allowing higher blends of ethanol for newer cars, saying it could confuse consumers at fuel pumps and lead to engine damage in older vehicles.
The suit, the second major legal challenge to the EPA on higher ethanol blends in as many months, asks the federal appeals court in Washington to send the decision back to the EPA and to review whether the decision violates the Clean Air Act.

WASHINGTON, Dec 15 (Reuters) - The U.S. Senate on Wednesday voted in favor of a one-year extension of the ethanol tax credit and the ethanol import tariff at existing rates, despite complaints the subsidies were wasteful.
The bill will be welcomed by the struggling ethanol industry and by American farmers who supply the corn to produce the fuel that is blended into automotive gasoline. 

20101223 0916 Global Market Related News.

OIL: Oil up towards $91 on tighter U.S. crude stocks, cold snap
SINGAPORE, Dec 23 (Reuters) - U.S. crude futures edged up towards $91 a barrel on Thursday on tightening U.S. crude stocks and frigid temperatures in Europe and the U.S. Northeast.
U.S. crude oil inventories fell 5.33 million barrels last week, a third straight weekly decline, the U.S. Energy Information Administration said.

COMMODITY MARKETS: Oil pierces $90, grains rally; volumes thin
NEW YORK, Dec 22 (Reuters) - Oil broke $90 a barrel, grains hit multi-month highs and metals retreated slightly as supply woes and other positive fundamentals kept investor sentiment in commodities intact on Wednesday despite thin trading volumes.
"Call it the Santa Claus rally, the end of the year rally or whatever you want, but you're definitely seeing markets being bid higher, though on very light volume," said Adam Sarhan at New York-based financial advisory Sarhan Capital.

GLOBAL MARETS: Stocks rise on optimism; EU debt hurts euro
NEW YORK, Dec 22 (Reuters) - World stocks climbed on Wednesday to two-year highs on growing optimism about U.S. economic growth while the euro slumped to lifetime lows versus the Swiss franc after a new round of credit rating warnings reminded traders euro-zone debt problems can still flare. "The more recent data suggests we're seeing reasonably healthy retail sales growth, pretty healthy investment spending, and some growth in employment. So maybe the core growth or final sales growth is starting to accelerate in the fourth quarter," said Zach Pandl, an economist at Nomura Securities International in New York.

Global Farm Commodity Outlook In 2011 Mostly Upbeat - Rabobank (Source: CME)
Precariously balanced global fundamentals for agricultural commodities will set the stage for higher prices going into 2011, but bearish macro headwinds will spur further price uncertainty and volatility, Rabobank, a major agricultural lender, forecast.  Global inventory levels for a number of agricultural commodities are at or nearing record-lw levels, and with robust demand growth from emerging economies, particularly China, farm product prices will remain sensitive to any further weather or policy-induced supply shocks, as seen in 2010, the bank's commodity markets research unit said in an outlook statement. With one of the strongest La Nina weather patterns in the past 50 years in the Pacific Basin and increasing concern over supply shortages in some regions, the risks of tightening world inventories and higher prices remain skewed to the upside in the year ahead, it reported.
Converging pressures in multiple agricultural markets will likely cause friction and strain available resources--including for lan d, farm inputs and credit--and prevent commodities from an optimal supply response to higher prices, it said. Rabobank identified seven key themes that will drive and shape farm commodity markets in 2011, including tightening inventories, supply limitations and commodity demand growth remaining strongest in developing economies. It also identified China as "commodity short" in 2011, a year when political risk will be heightened amid tightening food supplies. Yet, market fundamentals will only be part of the story. With agriculture and agricultural futures increasingly viewed as an attractive asset class by investors, the role of outside market macro drivers, including currencies, energy correlations and speculative money, are becoming more important in shaping agricultural price movements, it reported.
All of these factors will contribute to sustained volatility next year, the bank said. Rabobank's initial price forecasts for 2011 suggest further price gains are expected in several markets, despite many of the commodities entering the year at already elevated price levels.

China State Grain Firms Buy Less For State Reserves (Source: CME)
Official grain purchases for stockpiles by Chinese state-owned enterprises in the January-November period fell 66% from a year earlier due to sharply higher grain prices, even as state-owned grain enterprises' profit and revenue grew, a senior government grain official said. The remarks by State Administration of Grain Deputy Director Ren Zhengxiao underscore a dilemma for the government as an agricultural price rally threatens the country's food reserves even as it boosts the corporate bottom line. The government has sought to roll back sharply higher agricultural commodity prices as market pressures contributed to the highest inflation levels in 28 months, risking mounting public concern ahead of the consumption-heavy Lunar New Year in February. State-owned grain enterprises earned a combined profit of CNY4 billion ($600 million) in the first 11 months of this year, Ren said, according to a transcript of a speech published Tuesday on the agency's website.
Of these companies, state grain trading firms made a  combined profit of CNY3.6 billion. "We can see this year's operating situation for state-owned grain enterprises is more stable," he said. "Due to the domestic economy's recovery, a good grain harvest and the government's grain floor price and other policies, there won't be large changes in the grain-trading situation." Still, inflationary pressure and unfavorable weather have impacted grain trading, he said. As grain prices rose, state-owned grain enterprises made far fewer market-supportive policy purchases for official stockpiles, Ren said. Policy purchases accounted for less than a third of total purchases from January to November, he said.

Japan auto lobby sees 2011 US market at 13 mln cars
TOKYO, Dec 22 (Reuters) - The U.S. auto market will likely recover further to around 13 million vehicles next year from less than 12 million units in 2010, the head of Japan's auto lobby said on Wednesday.
Toshiyuki Shiga, chairman of the Japan Automobile Manufacturers Association, noted that the seasonally adjusted annual sales rate for light vehicles in the United States had been growing at a pace of about 1 million units in recent months, indicating a steady recovery in demand.

U.S. regulators eye pay limits, but will they work?
WASHINGTON/NEW YORK, Dec 21 (Reuters) - U.S. financial regulators are looking at forcing big banks and other large financial firms to defer some of their executives' compensation as part of an effort to limit risk taking but some analysts are raising questions about the effectiveness of this approach.
Regulators are considering a rule that would require large financial institutions to pay some percentage of executives' total compensation in the form of deferred stock or other forms that they collect over multiple years, according to two sources briefed in the matter. They were not authorized to speak on the record on the matter.

China aims to improve trade balance in 2011
BEIJING, Dec 22 (Reuters) - China will try to  import more in 2011 while keeping exports steady, Commerce  Minister Chen Deming said on Wednesday, in a sign that the  world's second-largest economy is keen to pull more weight as  a consumer.
In a statement on the ministry's website, Chen said China wants to better balance its  trade account, and will step up purchases of high-tech goods  and commodities such as grains and cotton next year.

S&P 500 earnings look rosy on 2011 overseas sales
NEW YORK, Dec 21 (Reuters) - The U.S. economy may sleepwalk its way to recovery next year, but corporate earnings are set for a record 2011 thanks to strengthening overseas demand.
Overseas sales, particularly in emerging markets, will be key for profits for many U.S. companies in 2011, and sectors that have outperformed this year are expected to remain top bets, based on strong demand from emerging economies.

PRECIOUS-Gold firms as dollar retreats, debt fears simmer
LONDON, Dec 22 (Reuters) - Gold firmed in Europe on Wednesday, building on three straight sessions of gains, as the dollar retreated and as warnings from credit rating agencies on some euro zone economies boosted haven demand for the metal.
Prices took further support from the International Monetary Fund's announcement of the completion of the massive gold reserve sale it began a year ago, which analysts say removes a significant overhang to the market.

FOREX-Euro helped by report China will buy Portugal's debt
LONDON, Dec 22 (Reuters) - The euro gained against the dollar and recovered from all-time lows against the Swiss franc on Wednesday, boosted by a news report that China was ready to buy significant amounts of Portuguese sovereign debt.
The Jornal de Negocios daily reported China is looking to buy between 4 billion euros ($5.26 billion) and 5 billion euros of Portuguese sovereign debt to help the country ward off pressure in debt markets, though it gave no details of its sources.

U.S. corn ticks up, soy steady on Argentine weather
SINGAPORE, Dec 22 (Reuters) - U.S. corn futures ticked  higher rising for sixth straight session, while  soybeans were little changed at 5-1/2 week top as hot weather  and lack of rains in Argentina continued to raise supply  concerns."There have been some concerns over the past few sessions  on Argentine dryness. That is not a new concern and it is  certainly on our watch list," said Luke Matthews, a commodity  strategist at the Commonwealth Bank of Australia.

China says will import to refill agricultural stocks
BEIJING, Dec 22 (Reuters) - China's Commerce Ministry said the country will increase imports of key agricultural commodities which are in tight supply in 2011 to replenish central government reserves.
Minister Chen Deming told an internal meeting of the ministry that the government will increase reserves of sugar and meat among other daily-needed products, a statement on the ministry website said, without giving details.

Euro hit by ratings warnings; stocks buoyant
LONDON, Dec 22 (Reuters) - The euro hit an all-time low against the Swiss franc following credit ratings warnings on Portugal and Greece, while European shares traded near 27-month highs on hopes for global economic growth next year. "There's been no clarity on what European Union leaders will do to deal with the debt crisis," said Investec economist Philip Shaw.