Thursday, April 15, 2010

20100415 1826 FCPO EOD Daily Chart Study.

FCPO closed : 2520, changed : -8 points, volume : lower.
Bollinger band reading : side way range bound little downside biased.
MACD Histrogram : getting lower, seller show some mild interest.
Support : 2500, 2470, 2450 level.
Resistant : 2521, 2550, 2570 level.
Comment :
Half life quiet FCPO eased lower slightly within a boring 15 points range market. Daily chart reading remained unchanged suggesting a side way range bound downside biased market.
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.

20100415 1725 FKLI EOD Daily Chart Study.

FKLI closed : 1341, changed : -1 points, volume : lower.
Bollinger band reading : side way range bound upside biased.
MACD Histrogram : getting lower, seller still in.
Support : 1337, 1330, 1325 level.
Resistant : 1345, 1350, 1360 level.
Comment :
11.5 points range FKLI ended the day a point lower in lesser volume transacted. Daily chart reading remained side way range bound with a little upside biased and seems reluctant to challenge the support level near the upward trend line.
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.

20100415 1445 FKLI Mid Day Hourly Chart Study.

FKLI last looked : 1338, changed : -4 points, volume : moderate.
Bollinger band reading : side way range bound.
MACD Histrogram : getting lower, seller in charge.
Support : 1337, 1330, 1325 level.
Resistant : 1345, 1350, 1360 level.
Comment :
FKLI managed to opened higher but the upward surge failed to sustain as seller are committed to stay put press price lower into the negative territory. Despite the seller aggresiveness, FKLI hourly chart still shows a side way range bound market reading testing support and resistant level.

20100415 1237 FCPO Mid Day Hourly Chart Study.

FCPO closed : 2521, changed : -7 points, volume : low.
Bollinger band reading : side way range bound little downside biased.
MACD Histrogram : not much movement, both buyer and seller seems not interested.
Support : 2521, 2500, 2470 level.
Resistant : 2550, 2570, 2600 level.
Comment :
Boring 11 points tight range FCPO market ended fraction lower in ultra low volume traded. Hourly chart show a side way tight range market ahead in the near term with a little downside biased but I got a funny feeling that something big might be happening soon(just my wild guess).

20100415 1139 Malaysia Corporate News.

IJM Corp was awarded two work packages worth RM246.7m for Murum Access Road in Sarawak. The first package involves constructing three minor bridges, culverts, drains and pavement works for a 20km road in Kapit for RM125.2m, while the second involves building two minor bridges and similar works for a 10.5km road for RM121.5m. The construction period for both packages is 24 months. (BMSB)
This contract win was based on open tender and represents the group's second win this year after clinching the RM600m Besraya Highway extension. Outstanding orderbook stands at RM3.8bn after adding this project, which also makes up part of the group's RM2bn new orderbook target for 2010. Pretax profit contribution is between RM6-9m p.a. based on a pretax margin assumption of 5-7%.

Supermax Corporation is optimistic of a bullish financial performance this year as its expects earnings per share (EPS) for 1Q10 to exceed its full year earnings guidance for the year of a minimum EPS of 62sen.
  • It had projected a turnover of over RM1bn for the current financial year based on current latex prices, the expansion of two new plants and the installation of new production lines. Thai said the new production lines and the construction of two plants in Meru and Bukit Kapar, Klang, would require an investment of RM130m. 
  • "The plant in Meru is expected to be fully commissioned by June or July while the plant in the Glove City project in Bukit, Kapar, is expected to be commissioned by 2011," Thai said. For FY2011 Supermax projected a revenue of RM1.5bn. Thai said the rubber glove industry was a resilient industry and would not be affected by price increases nor the strengthening ringgit. (Bernama)
The selldown on latex glove companies has been overdone, given the overwhelming demand for latex gloves internationally as well as their solid financial fundamentals, said Supermax Corporation executive chairman Datuk Seri Stanley Thai. He said demand had indeed been outstripping supply in view of the H1N1 flu pandemic last year, which saw five-month back orders as at December last year.
  • Thai said the global glove industry had been enjoying organic growth of 8-10% annually. "We don't foresee a supply glut for the next 1.5-3 years," he said. On the impact of higher latex prices and the stronger ringgit, Thai said these factors were non-issues as regional currencies were also appreciating in tandem. 
  • "These costs can be passed down to consumers and it's good that rubber tappers can also earn more," he said. (Financial Daily)
Top Glove Corporation can overcome the impact of rising raw material costs and foreign exchange fluctuations by raising product prices, according to executive director Lim Cheong Guan. Top Glove sees the recent sharp gains in rubber prices and the ringgit currency as short-term fluctuations and will pass through any impact to its customers, said Lim. "Any impact will be short term. Gloves are a necessity in the medical industry, any price increase is negligible to the end users compared with the total medical costs," added Lim.
  • Apart from raising glove prices, Top Glove can hedge against rising ringgit by sourcing latex concentrate from Thailand which is transacted in US$, said Lim. The price of latex will likely to come down in May when the current supply squeeze resulting from the dry weather conditions eases, he said. 
  • Lim also brushed off market worries that the rubber glove industry is adding too many plants too fast. "Additional glove supply will come in gradually and if there is any oversupply, manufacturers will revise its expansion plan in order not to affect the supply demand situation." (Reuters)
More sustainably produced palm oil is being purchased than ever before, according to the latest figures from the Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil. This is an encouraging turnaround that could point to a greater uptake of certified sustainable palm oil, WWF says. In the past, only a small percent of palm oil certified by the RSPO has been purchased, though the sales have been steadily increasing for the last several months.
  • The RSPO said Friday that in March 2010, a record 136,000 tonnes (or corresponding certificates) were purchased from palm oil producers, exceeding the 126,000 tonnes that were produced that same month. (WWF)
Oil palm plantations and timber processing mills in Sarawak have been asked to raise the basic salaries of Indonesian workers by at least 20%. Indonesian authorities made the request during a meeting in Bali last week to discuss ways to meet the demand for Indonesian workers by Malaysian companies,
  • Indonesian Consul in Sarawak Rafail Walangitan said Sarawak plantation companies were asked to increase the daily wages of Indonesian plantation workers to between RM19 and RM22 from RM14 and RM18 presently. (Starbiz)
The detailed Environmental Impact Assessment (DEIA) for the power plant to be set up in Felda Sahabat, about 100km from Lahad Datu,, Sabah will be submitted to the Department of Environment (DOE) this month. The 300MW power plant will use clean coal technology. It will produce emissions below the stringent DOE and World Bank's emission level limit guidelines.
  • Lahad Datu Energy Sdn Bhd (LDE) project director Ahmad Faraid Mohd Yahaya said the plant would provide the much needed stability to the grid system in Sabah by serving as an anchor plant for the East Coast. (Bernama)
SK Telecom which has reportedly been approached by P1 to buy a stake in the latter, has yet to make any decision. "Nothing has been decided," Irene Kim, a spokesman of SK Telecom said. News reports had stated that SK Telecom was among a few foreign telcos interested in buying a stake in P1, a subsidiary of Green Packet. The sale of a 20% stake in P1 could potentially raise about US$100m, the report said. Green Packet group MD and CEO CC Puan did not confirm nor deny the news. (Starbiz)

Pos Malaysia said it would be necessary to increase the price of domestic postage stamps in order to cope with current times. If Pos Malaysia does not increase the price, it will continuously incur operational loss of RM20m annually starting from this year, said group CEO Datuk Syed Faisal Albar. "The postage price increase is long overdue not only for our postmen but with the fact that our price is one of the lowest in the world," he added. (Bernama, BT)

Pos Malaysia will be offering new services and investing in its operations to boost revenue this year and turn the company around, its group MD, Datuk Syed Faisal Albar said. "For us, our natural mail volume decline is around 2-3%. With the tariff increase, surely the volume will decline more, but we will introduce some measures to ensure they don't decline further," he said.
  • Syed Faisal said revenue growth this year would come from its new online shopping service, the parcel business and from the shared banking services it provides at the post office. (Bernama)
Kazakhstan's Air Astana is planning to increase the frequency of its Almaty-Kuala Lumpur flights in the next one to two years after recording several full passenger load flights since its maiden flight to Malaysia last October. "We have 3,000 students from Kazakhstan studying in Malaysian and certainly one flight a week to Kuala Lumpur will not be enough moving forward," said vice-president for marketing and sales Ibrahim Canliel.
  • According to Ibrahim, Kuala Lumpur was also a strategic transit point for flights from Central Asian nations, and Air Astana would continue to leverage on its "networking" with Malaysia Airlines to connect passengers from Almaty with destinations in Southeast Asia and Australia. (Financial Daily)
Long-haul budget carrier AirAsia X is tipped to receive the rights to fly the Kuala Lumpur- Seoul route soon. A source indicated that the airline had been given a verbal approval by the government last week. When contacted, AirAsia X CEO Azran Osman-Rani said he had not received a written approval from the Malaysian Transport Ministry but welcomed the news.
  • "We can help to redress the shrinkage of tourist arrivals from Seoul into Malaysia, which shrank by some 15% last year over 2008," he added. The airline has requested daily flights to Seoul and will look to utilise one of its brand new Airbus A330s to ply the route. 
  • As AirAsia X looks forward to expanding to South Korea, Azran said it was equally important for the airline to receive approval for other trunk routes such as KL-Sydney and KL-Jeddah to build its network. It is seeking daily flights to Sydney, while the Saudi government is willing to grant between five and six flights per week for the KL-Jeddah route, said Azran. (BT)
The deal to acquire the assets and liabilities of oil and gas company, KNM Group, has fallen through due to a disagreement on pricing. The company said yesterday that the offer had lapsed by “mutual agreement of the parties,” as there was no agreement on the pricing. It is understood that a meeting between the buyers and the board of directors of KNM had taken place yesterday afternoon, prior to the announcement. (Starbiz)

Malaysia's advertising spending rose by 22% yoy to RM1.62bn in 1Q10. The quarterly figure marked a return to the level seen just prior to the economic downturn. According to Nielsen, all monitored media posted growth except cinema. Terrestrial TV and the Internet expanded the most, each seeing 36% growth. Media Specialists Association (MSA) vicepresident Prashant Kumar expects a double-digit growth in adex this year. (Star)

The Association of Accredited Advertising Agents Malaysia (4As) plans to submit a proposal to the Health Ministry to tighten the self-regulation on alcohol advertising. President Datuk Vincent Lee said that he was informed a few months ago that the ministry was considering banning alcohol advertisements in view of health issues and drink-driving accidents.
  • “The 4As met with the Health Minister and his officials, who are concerned about youth binge drinking. The industry shares the same sentiment, but if there’s a total ban, the media industry would be affected as the alcohol companies spent RM100m last year on advertising and promotion,” he said. “Instead of a ban, we want to propose stricter regulations, similar to what we introduced for fast-food advertising three years ago.” (Starbiz)
OSK Property plans to launch RM700m worth of property projects this year, with the centre-piece being its RM300m GDV condominium project in Cyberjaya. "This is our biggest development project this year.
  • With the Maju Expressway, the distance from Cyberjaya to KLCC only takes 25 minutes. This gives a lot of potential on the property demand in Cyberjaya," ED and COO Tan Boon Chuan said. This year, the company plans to develop seven parcels of its land. (BT)
OSK Holdings is confident its investment banking business will make up two-fifths of the group's revenue and bottom line this year, driven by the economic recovery. This will make investment banking the group's major contributor, surpassing its stockbroking business. OSK Investment Bank MD and CEO Ong Leong Huat said investment banking contributed 35% to the group's bottom line last year, up from 25% in 2007 and 2008. "In Malaysia, we anticipate investment banking to contribute between 45% and 50% of our income this year," he said.
  • OSK currently has a foothold in Singapore, Hong Kong and mainland China, Indonesia and Cambodia. Ong expressed confidence that overseas contribution would increase to 35% this year and 40% next. 
  • OSK anticipates huge growth in Indonesia and Cambodia as the capital markets in these two countries are still in their infancy. "We will grow the branches in Indonesia from the current 10 to 15 by the end of this year, and in Cambodia we will have 10 branches, up from the current five." Capital investment allocated for overseas expansion so far amounts to RM400m, or 26% of the group's shareholder funds. (BT)
Kuwait Finance House (Malaysia) has opened a currency exchange outlet at the international arrival hall of the Low-Cost Carrier Terminal (LCCT) in Sepang, the second in the country. The first is at The Pavilion KL while the third will be opened at KL Sentral end of this month. Kuwait Finance House (Malaysia) CEO Jamelah Jamaluddin said the currency exchange was one of the core businesses of the bank's retail and consumer banking segment. (Bernama)

The Gombak integrated transport terminal (ITT) has been revived and will be opened early next year, Transport Minister Datuk Seri Ong Tee Keat said. “The ITT aims to disperse 780 north and east-bound buses stationed in the city centre and ease the traffic congestion,” he said. It will have a capacity for 4,000 bus passengers a day. The RM200m terminal will be built in two phases on a 13.35ha land in Gombak. (Star)

BMW Malaysia is confident of a better performance in terms of sales and market share this year, compared to 2009, said managing director, Geoffrey Briscoe. 'We captured 40% of the 9,000 units in the premium market last year. Thus, we do not see any obstacles towards an increased stake, this year,' he said.
  • Meanwhile, Mr Briscoe revealed that BMW Malaysia is considering bringing in more models to be produced locally, by the end of this year. 'We will be seeing more announcements from BMW Malaysia on this issue, later in the year,' he stated. (Bernama)
Masteel said local steel millers are expected to raise billet prices by US$70-80 or RM250 to offset rising iron ore and coke costs. "Billet prices have increased by US$90/MT to US$640/MT for Southeast Asian destinations since mid-March this year," said CEO and MD Datuk Seri Tai Hean Leng.
  • "The surge in prices and demand for steel product is expected to expand our margin in coming months," he added. On Masteel's outlook, Tai said the company will invest RM300m to make more than just steel bars. "I will disclose the new products and production capacity soon," he said. (BT)
Ho Hup Construction has been granted a time extension of four months until Aug 4 to submit its revised regularisation plan to Bursa Malaysia Securities for approval. (Financial Daily)

UBG will dispose of its entire stake in UBG Petroleum (Thailand) to Pearloil (Siam) Ltd for about US$19.21m (RM61.46m). The disposal would provide an ideal opportunity to exit its investment in oil and gas exploration at a minimal loss and allow the company to refocus its strategy. (BT)

Kurnia Setia plans to construct a palm oil mill together with a compost fertilizer plant at its nearby Sri Jelutong Estate, Pekan, Pahang. The 30-tonne/hour upgradable to 60- tonne/hour palm oil mill is estimated to cost RM30m while the composting plant RM5m. The mill and plant will be due for commissioning by mid-11. (Bernama)

Hai-O has devised a networking marketing concept that can draw the interest of Indonesians to participate in its business. It has also introduced the member-consumer and consumer-entrepreneur concepts that will serve as a pulling force, premised on the belief that people will promote and sell products that are satisfied with. Hai-O Group founder and MD Tan Kai Hee said this during the official launch of PT Hai-O Indonesia. (Bernama)

A major shareholder of Impressive Edge Group (IEGB) is proposing a selective capital repayment exercise. IEGB said the trading of its shares would be suspended with effect from 9am today pending the release of the material announcement. (Financial Daily)

Success Transfomer's subsidiary, Seremban Engineering, an engineering firm that makes process equipment and metal structures, is bidding for contracts worth RM50m and expects to win 15% of the jobs, says ED.Penny Wong.
  • The group, due to be listed on the Main Market of Bursa Malaysia next month, said it is bidding for work in Malaysia and abroad. Wong expects the company's numbers to grow this year by expanding its services to more industries, such as oil and gas and waste management. 
  • Seremban Engineering's initial public offering (IPO) entails a total issue of 28m shares, comprising a public issue of 19.9m new shares and an offer-for-sale of 8.1m existing shares priced at RM0.85/share, It will raise RM16.9m from the IPO, while Success Transformer will raise RM6.9m, (BT)
Mamee-Double Decker has committed to a 50% dividend policy to be paid on a semiannual basis. (BMSB)

20100415 1131 Malaysian Economic News.

RM2.46bn allocation has been set aside under the Public Infrastructure Maintenance (PIA) programme for Class F bumiputera contractors for 5 years, the Dewan Rakyat was told. Deputy Finance Minister Datuk Chor Chee Heung added that for implementation of projects under the Basic Infrastructure (PIAS) programme, an allocation of RM2.972bn has been set aside for 4 years beginning 2006. (Bernama)

The Malaysia Services Exhibition (MSE) 2010 kicked off on a positive note with US$180m worth of projects having been secured on the first day of the event on 13 Apr. Malaysia External Trade Development Corporation CEO Datuk Noharuddin Nordin said the projects encompassed construction of biogas plants, solid waste management and education-related initiatives.
  • These projects are located in Saudi Arabia, Sudan, Lebanon and Syria. He added that potential projects worth US$1.6bn had also been identified (vs. RM8.5bn in 2009). (Bernama)
The government gives equal importance to both domestic and foreign direct investments (FDIs), says International Trade and Industry Deputy Minister Datuk Jacob Dungau Sagan. Investors are offered incentives like tax holidays, investment allowances and duty exemptions for raw materials.
  • He also said the ministry would provide incentives for companies that used high technology in their operations, produced value-added products, are research and development-driven and paid high salary to employees. (Bernama)
Higher Education Deputy Minister Dr Hou Kok Chung said the ministry aimed to enhance research and development (R&D) and innovation at the higher institutions of learning so as to put Malaysia at a higher level in the field. In line with this, the ministry aims to achieve the ratio of 35 researchers, scientists and engineers (RSE) to every 10,000 workforce to boost research and innovation. At the moment, the ratio was 30:10,000, he said. (Bernama)

The Veterinary Services Department has licensed 8 companies to import a total of 1,600 tonnes of frozen pork from foreign abattoirs. The move was to stabilise the price of pork in local market. Its director-general Datuk Dr. Abdul Aziz Jamaluddin assured that there would be minimal increase in the price of the meat. (The Star)

The Asian Development Bank (ADB) has projected the Malaysian economy to rebound to 5.3% growth this year, underpinned by expansion in exports and strong regional demand led by China. However, it expects growth to slip to 5.0% in 2011 as economic output may struggle to match the expected strong numbers for 2010.
  • Inflation in Malaysia is expected to move up to 2.4% in 2010 and 3.0% in 2011 on the back of higher domestic demand, a rise in global commodity prices and a rise in some administered prices. (BT)

20100415 1128 Global Economic News.

US retail sales rose more strongly than expected by 1.6% mom in March (0.5% in Feb), pointing to a broadening of the manufacturing-led economic recovery as inflation pressures remain muted. This was the largest increase since Nov 09 as consumers stepped up purchases of motor vehicles (+6.7% vs. -1.9% in Feb) and a wide range of goods. Economists had forecast retail sales to increase 1.2% mom for March.
  • Sales excluding autos and parts rose 0.6% mom in March (1.0% in Feb) as a combination of an early Easter holiday and warm weather boosted receipts at clothing stores. Economists had expected a 0.5% mom gain.
  • Core retail sales, which exclude autos, gasoline and building materials, rose 0.5% (1.2% in Feb). (CNBC, CNN Money).
US consumer prices gained 2.3% yoy in March (2.1% in Feb), driven by a 41.0% climb in gasoline costs and 2.1% increase in electricity costs during the period. Core CPI increased 1.1% yoy in March (1.3% in Feb).
  • Month-on-month, overall CPI inched up 0.1% (unchanged in Feb) while core CPI was unchanged in March (+0.1% in Feb). Economists had forecast for a 0.1% mom gain each for the overall prices and core CPI in March. (CNBC, CNN Money)
US mortgage applications fell 9.6% in the week ended 9 Apr, marking the second weekly decline. The four-week moving average of mortgage applications, which smoothes the volatile weekly figures, was down 6.2%. (CNBC)

US inventories rose 0.5% in February (0.2% in Jan), the most since Jul 08, as companies boosted orders to try to keep up with sales. Business inventories were forecast to rise 0.4%. Companies had 1.27 months’ supply of goods on hand in February, matching the prior month’s reading as the lowest since Nov 07. (Bloomberg)

Fed chairman Ben Bernanke said that private sector demand will be "sufficient" to spur a moderate economic recovery in coming months, but he added that more time is needed to recover job losses. "A recovery in economic activity appears to have begun in the second half of last year," Bernanke told the Joint Economic Committee.
  • Bernanke's speech was mostly upbeat, noting all the different areas where the economy has picked up. He pointed to higher GDP rates, increasing auto sales and a strengthening financial system as catalysts for the Federal Reserve to wind down programs that were propping up those sectors. 
  • "Going forward, consumer spending should be aided by a gradual pickup in jobs and earnings, the recovery in household wealth from recent lows, and some improvement in credit availability," Bernanke said. 
  • He cautioned that the unemployment rate and the housing market remain areas of concern. Bernanke also spoke about the need for policymakers to start tackling the growing federal deficit, to maintain "the confidence of the public and financial markets." (CNN Money)
The Obama administration's mortgage-modification program is not keeping pace with the deluge of foreclosures hitting the market. As of February, only 168,708 homeowners have received long-term mortgage modifications under the president's plan.
  • This is a small fraction of the 6m borrowers who are more than 60 days behind on their loans, according to the Congressional Oversight Panel's latest report. The president's foreclosure-prevention plan will likely assist only 1m troubled borrowers, short of the administration's original goal of up to 4m homeowners. (CNN Money)
The Federal Reserve said the economy expanded “somewhat” across most of the US in March as consumer spending and manufacturing improved, signaling the recovery is broadening without gaining much speed. “While labor markets generally remained weak, some hiring activity was evident, particularly for temporary staff,” according to the Beige Book report. Consumer prices “generally remained level,” and producers had difficulty passing along increases of some raw materials, the Fed said. (Bloomberg)

US Treasury Secretary Timothy F. Geithner said China is likely to move toward a more flexible currency because its practice of pegging the yuan to the dollar limits the Asian nation’s ability to conduct monetary policy. “As a strong, large, independent, growing economy, it doesn’t make sense for that country to run a monetary policy exchange-rate regime that effectively lets the Federal Reserve set interest rates for their economy,” he said. (Bloomberg)

Dallas Federal Reserve Bank President Richard Fisher Wednesday said the economy is "ready" for the Fed to "normalize" the spread between the federal funds rate and the discount rate and said that is why his Bank's board of directors recently requested an increase in the primary credit rate.
  • Fisher emphasized that a further increase in the discount rate would not represent a tightening of monetary policy -- merely a "normalization" of the spread between the funds rate and the discount rate. 
  • Fisher also opposes the Federal Open Market Committee's continual assertions that it expects the federal funds rate to stay "exceptionally low ... for an extended period." (Xinhua)
The European Union (EU) described as “speculation” a German newspaper report that the EU aid package for debt-burdened Greece could total as much as €90bn (US$123bn) over three years. “There are still no sums fixed for 2011 and 2012 and any figures reported on are simply speculation,” Amadeu Altafaj, the commission’s spokesman for economic and monetary affairs, said. (Bloomberg)

European industrial production increased 0.9% mom in February (1.6% in Jan), led by demand for intermediate goods such as steel and car engines. February’s growth came above economists forecast for a 0.1% mom gain. From a year earlier, February production increased 4.1%. (Bloomberg)

South Korea’s credit ratings were raised to A1 from A2 at Moody’s Investors Service, It was due to the central bank increased its 2010 economic growth forecast and unemployment fell the most in a decade. (Bloomberg)

China’s foreign direct investment climbed 7.7% yoy to US$23.44bn in 1Q10. (Bloomberg)

Singapore raised its 2010 economic growth forecast for the second time this year and said inflation will accelerate more than expected, prompting the central bank to join regional counterparts in tightening monetary policy.
  • Gross domestic product will increase 7.0-9.0% in 2010 (vs. previous forecast for 6.5% growth). 
  • Consumer prices will rise in a range of 2.5-3.5% this year, compared with an earlier forecast for as much as 3.0%.
  • The central bank said it will undertake a one-time revaluation and seek a gradual and modest appreciation of the currency. (Bloomberg)
Singapore’s economy grew an annualized 32.1% qoq in 1Q10 (-2.8% in 4Q09). That was better than the median estimate for an 18.4% increase. From a year earlier, the economy grew 13.1% (4.0% in 4Q09), compared with the median estimate for an 11.0% gain. (Bloomberg)

Oil surged after a US government report showed an unexpected decline in supplies as gasoline demand increased by the greatest amount in five years. Stockpiles dropped 2.2m to 354m in the week ended 9 Apr, the Energy Department said, the first decrease in 11 weeks. Inventories were forecast to climb 1.3m barrels.
  • Gasoline use rose 1.3% in the four weeks ended 9 Apr, the biggest gain since Aug 04. 
  • Crude oil for May delivery gained US$1.79, or 2.1%, to settle at US$85.84 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange, ending a five-day decline. (Bloomberg)
The US and Indonesia signed an agreement paving the way for increased US investment in Indonesia. The agreement establishes a framework that “will allow a lot more capital to be deployed in Indonesia when the US is ready” to take that step, Gita Wirjawan, Indonesia’s chief investment coordinator said. (Financial Daily)

Vietnam’s central bank issued rules yesterday that free up short-term lending rates from cap, a move to rationalise rates that a former official says could see them ultimately fall. The State Bank of Vietnam earlier this year allowed the rates that commercial banks charge for medium- and long-term loans to be “negotiable”, freeing them from a cap of 1.5 times the policy base rate (now stands at 8.0%). (Financial Daily)

The IMF said economies that reduce large current account surpluses through currency appreciation or stimulus measures are able to maintain their economic expansion. Drawing on an analysis of 28 such “reversals” over the past 50 years for countries “considering a transition away” from surplus, the IMF said that it found no evidence of reduced growth.
  • Expansion after such a move is “more balanced across domestic and external sources,” the fund said in its World Economic Outlook. The report comes as the Obama administration is pressing the Chinese government to end the yuan’s peg to the dollar. (Bloomberg)
Indonesia’s central bank will maintain a “careful” stance on monetary policy in the second half of 2010 as a possible increase in commodity and electricity prices may stoke inflation, Deputy Governor Hartadi Sarwono said. “I’m still comfortable with the current Bank Indonesia rate now and there is no plan to change our monetary policies.” (Bloomberg)