Thursday, September 9, 2010

20100909 1149 Local & Global Economic News.

Malaysia: Ringgit ends at highest level in 13 years
The ringgit closed at its highest level in 13 years yesterday against the US dollar in line with other high-riding Asian currencies, dealers said. At 5pm, it touched a fresh 13-year high of 3.1110/1140 against the greenback, compared with a closing of 3.1230/1260 on Tuesday. A dealer said Asian currencies were in demand on optimism that Asian economic growth would be better than in other regions. (BT)

China: Trade surplus may exceed USD20bn, stoking tension
China may say that its trade surplus topped USD20bn for a third month in August in a report that risks stoking American lawmakers’ calls for protection from Chinese import. Exports probably exceeded imports by USD26.9bn, compared with USD15.7bn in the same month a year earlier, according to the median of 34 forecasts in a Bloomberg News survey. Shipments abroad gained 35% and imports grew 27.5%, according to the survey. (Bloomberg)

China: Should let markets drive yuan up, Geithner says
US Treasury Secretary Timothy F.Geithner said Chinese officials need to allow the yuan to rise more quickly against the dollar, in order to show China’s trading partners that the world’s second largest economy is following through on its promises. “Frankly they haven’t let the currency move very much so far,” he said in an interview. “They know they’re just at the beginning of that process and I think we’d like to see them move more quickly.” (Bloomberg)

Japan: Noda says ready to act as yen reaches 15-year high
Japanese Finance Minister Yoshihiko Noda said he is prepared to take “bold” action on currencies, including intervention in foreign-exchange markets, after the yen reached a 15-year high against the dollar. “We will take bold action if necessary and naturally that can include intervention,” he told lawmakers in parliament. “We have to use every option available as a strong yen is likely to have a severe impact on companies.” (Bloomberg)

Japan: Machine orders gain, backing BOJ pause on adding stimulus
Japan’s machinery orders and current account surplus exceeded forecasts in July even as the yen appreciated, supporting the central bank’s decision to hold off from further monetary easing. Orders rose 8.8% from June, the biggest gain this year, the Cabinet Office said in Tokyo. July’s current-account surplus widened 26% from a year earlier to 1.676 trillion yen (USD20bn), a separate report showed. (Bloomberg)

UK: House prices unexpectedly rose in August, Halifax says
UK house prices unexpectedly rose for a second month in August as a strengthening economy helped support demand, Halifax said. The average cost of a home rose 0.2% from July, when it gained 0.7%, the mortgage lending division of Lloyds Banking Group Plc said in a statement. Economists had forecast a 0.5% decline, based on the median of 12 estimates in a Bloomberg News survey. From a year earlier, prices rose 4.4% to an average 167,953 pounds (USD259,219). (Bloomberg)

US: Obama says progress on economy is 'painfully slow'
President Barack Obama said Republicans are advocating the same “flawed policies” that contributed to the worst recession since the 1930s and that the nation can’t afford to extend tax cuts for the wealthiest Americans. Obama said he recognizes that the recovery has been “painfully slow,” and he called on Congress to enact measures to cut taxes for businesses and middle-income Americans while letting rates rise for the richest taxpayers. (Bloomberg)

20100909 1148 Malaysia Corporate News.

Water: Debt notes ratings downgraded, urgent govt intervention required
MARC and RAM have downgraded the ratings of debt notes issued by players in the Selangor water sector and cautioned of further downgrades in the absence of progress in industry restructuring. The issuers affected were Syabas, Puncak Niaga, Splash, RUN Holding SPV, Viable Chip (M) SB, Destinasi Teguh SB and Sungai Harmoni SB. (StarBiz)

Petronas Chemicals to list at PE of 15 times
Petronas Chemicals Group is likely to list at a price earnings multiple of around 15 times earnings, industry experts familiar with the exercise said. Although no details have been revealed on the size of the offering, it has been reported that banking sources familiar with the company reckon it could be valued as much as USD2bn. (StarBiz)

Tan Chong to assemble, distribute CKD buses
Tan Chong Motor Holdings’ subsidiary has been given the exclusive rights to assemble and distribute CKD buses under the Silver Bus brand in Malaysia. Silver Bus is a joint-venture company between Volvo Bus Corp and Xi'an Aircraft Industry. The agreement is for a period of 10 years. (BT)

George Kent bids for RM1bn projects
George Kent is bidding for more than RM1bn worth of domestic and overseas projects for its infrastructure investments, water and construction (IWC) division which is expected to be the main income generator for the group in the near future. The group was eyeing 5 IWC projects and it would take 3 to 6 months for negotiations in the tender process to be completed. (Financial Daily)

Cypark eyes RM2.5bn jobs, plans regional expansion
Cypark Resources may add about RM1.5bn to RM2.5bn to its orderbook if its bids for the 112 unsanitary landfill closure projects from the Malaysian government under the 10th Malaysia Plan are accepted. The company is seeking to raise as much as RM33m from its IPO and expects to list on Bursa Malaysia by end of the year. (The Malaysian Reserve & BT) 

20100909 1132 Global Market News.

COMMODITY MARKETS: Stocks, euro rise on Europe relief
NEW YORK, Sept 8 (Reuters) - U.S. and European stock markets rose on Wednesday as worries about Europe's debt problems eased, allowing the euro to recover part of Tuesday's losses.
"The Portuguese debt auction was perceived well and has helped the market," said Philippe Gijsels, head of research at BNP Paribas Fortis Global Markets in Brussels.

Dollar to maintain its dominance -China minister
XIAMEN, China, Sept 8 (Reuters) - The dollar will remain the world's dominant currency for a long time, and the yuan will only gradually emerge as an alternative, Chinese Commerce Minister Chen Deming said on Wednesday.
China has surprised observers in recent months with a rapid succession of policies to promote the yuan's use overseas, but Chen cautioned against heightened expectations, saying that these moves had been limited and regional in focus.

Japan capex stabilising, strong yen a threat
TOKYO, Sept 8 (Reuters) - Japanese machinery orders surged by the most in seven months in July, but economists worry that a surging yen and a slowdown in overseas economies could snuff out a gradual recovery in capital expenditure.
Second-quarter gross domestic product growth is likely to be revised up on Friday as corporate spending grew faster than initially estimated, although the financial markets are focused on worries about the outlook.

PRECIOUS-Gold rises on bank scare; holds near lifetime high
SINGAPORE, Sept 8 (Reuters) - Gold gained on Wednesday, within sight of a 2-month high hit the previous day, as global stocks tumbled and the euro slipped on renewed fears about the health of the global economy.
"There's a possibility that we'll see gold breaching the $1,260 level," said Ong Yi Ling, an investment analyst at Phillip Futures in Singapore.

FOREX-Yen tests Japanese resolve, Swiss franc buoyant
LONDON, Sept 8 (Reuters) - The yen struck a fresh 15-year high against the dollar and the Swiss franc hit an all-time peak versus the euro on Wednesday as a flare-up in worries over euro zone banks and sovereign debt led investors into safe havens.
"There's been intensification in verbal rhetoric from Japan but I don't think they will intervene here. The serious intervention risk comes in below 80 yen," said Manuel Oliveri, currency strategist at UBS in Zurich.

Skittish investors lift Europe stocks, hit dlr
LONDON, Sept 8 (Reuters) - World shares were generally weaker  but gaining in Europe, subject to another bout of on-again, off-again investor jitters, this time about European banks.
"Profits generally from active traders have been pretty soft so they are trying to eke out a positive return but they are also wary of ending down for the year," said Jeremy Armitage, head of research at State Street Global Markets.

20100909 1123 Palm Oil News.

Palm oil hits new three-week high on demand hopes
KUALA LUMPUR, Sept 8 (Reuters) - Malaysian crude palm oil futures hit fresh three-week highs  as traders bet on a recovery in exports this month even as news of China buying rival soyoil prompted some pullback.
"The bulls don't want to be left out, if there is a recovery in palm oil exports this month. But China's increased appetite for soyoil may take some of the excitement out of palm oil," said a Singaporean vegetable oils trader.