Friday, November 26, 2010

Interactive Futures Event @ Ipoh Hotel Syuen Fri 26 Nov 2010 6.30pm.

20101126 1008 Global Economics News.

Japan's core consumer prices fell in October from a year earlier, down for the 20th consecutive month as persistent deflation, a strong yen and slowing global growth threaten the economy's outlook.Although
the pace of deflation narrowed markedly, that was largely due to a cigarette tax hike that took effect in October, doing little to ease concerns about the impact of a yen's rise [JPY=X 83.72 0.12 (+0.14%) ] and a slowing economy on the underlying price trend.

Vietnam: Trade deficit widens, adding Dong pressure
Vietnam’s trade deficit widened in November from October, threatening to put pressure on the country’s currency, which has already been devalued three times in the past year. The shortfall widened 16% to USD1.25bn from a revised USD1.08bn in October, according to preliminary figures released by the General Statistics Office in Hanoi. The trade gap was USD10.66bn in the 11 months through November. (Bloomberg)

Japan: Export growth slows more than forecast
Japan’s export growth slowed more than forecast in October, weakening the boost from trade that has led the nation’s recovery from its deepest postwar recession. Overseas shipments increased 7.8% from a year earlier, the Finance Ministry said. The median estimate of 21 economists surveyed by Bloomberg News was for a 10.7% gain. (Bloomberg)

China: Q3 current account surplus doubles
China's current account surplus more than doubled in the third quarter of 2010 from the same period last year, official data showed, propelled by strong demand for Chinese-made products. The current account surplus -- the broadest measure of trade with the world -- rose 103% to USD102.3bn between July and September, the State Administration for Foreign Exchange said on its website. For the first nine months, the current account surplus expanded by 30% y-o-y to USD204bn, the data showed. (BT)

China: PBOC plans to strengthen liquidity management
The People’s Bank of China said it will strengthen liquidity management and “normalize” monetary conditions, reinforcing forecasts for higher interest rates to combat the highest inflation rate in two years. The nation will use quantitative and price tools to manage liquidity, Hu Xiaolian, a central bank deputy governor, said in a statement on the bank’s website. PBOC adviser Xia Bin said at a conference in Shanghai that both higher rates and bank reserve ratios may be needed to control liquidity. (Bloomberg)

EU: No risk of euro zone breakup in Irish crisis
Senior euro zone officials dismissed any risk of the single currency area breaking up after financial markets, alarmed by Ireland's debt crisis, forced the borrowing costs of Portugal and Spain to record highs. "There is zero danger," Klaus Regling, chief of the euro's financial safety net, European Financial Stability Facility (EFSF), told German daily Bild in an interview when asked if the euro zone could break apart. "It is inconceivable that the euro fails," he said. (BT)

EU: ECB may yet delay exit
The European Central Bank (ECB) may have to delay its exit from emergency measures again as Ireland’s bailout fails to stern the region’s sovereign debt crisis. Investors are dumping Spanish and Portuguese bonds on concern they will have to follow Ireland and Greece in asking for European Union bailouts, making it more difficult for the ECB to proceed with its withdrawal of liquidity support for banks. (Starbiz)

20101126 1007 Malaysia Corporate News.

Carlyle makes spicy RM1.9bn offer for QSR
Washington based private equity firm Carlyle Asia Investments Advisors has made an offer to take QSR Brands private for RM1.9bn, topping an earlier bid by Idaman Saga SB- a company linked to business tycoon Tan Sri Halim Said. According to QSR’s parent company Kulim (M), the fund manager has made a non-binding offer to buy all QSR shares for RM6.70 each, 20% higher than Idaman Saga’s RM5.60 offer. QSR shares are currently traded at RM5.61. Pending a due diligence process by Carlyle, the company said QSR and its subsidiaries will not raise capital or declare dividends. (Malaysian Reserve)

LRT extension jobs to be awarded soon
The government is expected to award the jobs for the long-awaited light rail transit (LRT) extension project soon, and successful bidders have been short listed. According to a source familiar with the matter, parties that had lobbied for the LRT extension jobs for the Ampang and Kelana Jaya lines include UEM Group, IJM Corp, Bina Puri and TRC Synergies. The contracts to be awarded will be the building of LRT stations, laying groundwork and alignment before constructing the railway. The total extension length of the Kelana Jaya line is 17km and for the Ampang line 17.7km. Both extensions will see an additional 13 stations. (Financial Daily)

Petronas to invest in Johor O&G hub
Petronas will play a major role in the development of Johor’s south-east areas of Teluk Ramunia and Pengerang into a new oil and gas (O&G) hub in the region. Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak said investments in the hub would come from Petronas and its international partners. He said the investments would bring major development into Johor’s south-east areas and could turn Teluk Ramunia and Pengerang into a new Kerteh. Once a sleepy fishing village in Terengganu, Kerteh is now a thriving township due to O&G related activities with Petronas as the main driver in the O&G sector there. “While investments will come from Petronas and its partners, the Government is looking into allocating money for infrastructure development in the areas,” Najib said at the opening of the 140m-euro Asiaflex Products plant in Tanjung Langsat industrial area yesterday. (StarBiz)

Construction work on Penang Sentral to start next month
Construction work on the Penang Sentral Integrated Transport Hub in Butterworth is expected to begin next month, according to developer Malaysian Resources Corp (MRCB). MRCB executive director, Datuk Ahmad Zaki Zahid, said the company has solved all the land issues and the project could proceed as usual. "The first phase of the project is expected to be completed before 2013," he told a media briefing yesterday. The hub, a component project of the Northern Corridor Economic Region, would be undertaken by a joint-venture between MRCB and Pelaburan Hartanah Bumiputra . Ahmad Zaki said the actual cost of the project was expected to increase to RM2.7bn. (Bernama)

Jala: PM to announce new projects next week
Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak is expected to announce on Tuesday new development projects as well as several entry point projects that will boost the oil, gas and energy sector. The PM will announce some of the confirmed projects and provide updates on previous projects announced, Minister in the Prime Minister's Department, Senator Datuk Seri Idris Jala, said at the 29th Majeca-Jameca joint conference yesterday. Jala, who had presented a paper on the Economic Transformation Programme (ETP) earlier, was speaking to reporters on its updates and 2011 focus. (StarBiz)

Study on bullet train ready by mid-2011
Malaysia will only approach Singapore on the bullet train project connecting the countries’ capital cities once its feasibility study is completed by mid-2011, Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department Senator Datuk Seri Idris Jala said. The study is due to start in January and the results will be discussed in the Cabinet. Idris said the project’s planning follows the timeline of the Economic Transformation Programme (ETP) announced by the government last month. “Nothing has been confirmed yet … we need to take a hard look at the network and speed (aspects) and review the proposals (by companies),” he said on the sidelines of the joint conference of the Malaysian and Japanese economic associations in Kuala Lumpur yesterday. (BT) 

20101126 0900 Global Market News.

OIL: Crude near $84, post-Thanksgiving trade thin
TOKYO, Nov 26 (Reuters) - U.S. crude futures hovered near $84 a barrel in Asia on Friday, holding recent gains on a retreat in the dollar, but trade was slow after the Thanksgiving Day holiday the previous day.
Due to the Thanksgiving holiday, all New York Mercantile Exchange crude trade on Thursday is combined into Friday's official session.

COMMODITY MARKETS: Short-covering lifts markets ahead of holiday
NEW YORK, Nov 24 (Reuters) - Oil rose 3 percent and metals and crops were mostly up on Wednesday as positive U.S. economic data comforted investors and diverted attention from the euro zone debt crisis that had hammered prices earlier in the week.
"I think it's going to give cotton a good bullish underpinning," Sterling Smith, an analyst at Country Hedging Inc in St. Paul, Minnesota, said as better investor sentiment and prospects of Chinese demand helped cotton prices close up nearly 5 percent at around $1.16 per lb.

GLOBAL MARKETS: Stocks inch up as U.S. holiday thins trade
LONDON, Nov 25 (Reuters) - Financial markets regained some composure on Thursday after roller-coaster sessions prompted by the euro zone's debt problems as recent upbeat economic data encouraged investors to put on some risk.
"The most important thing for the equity market is the ability to believe that the economic cycle is staying intact," Philip Isherwood, European equities strategist at Evolution Securities, said. "That means not just U.S. data reassuring, but also European."

Indonesia struggles to hold down oil imports
SINGAPORE, Nov 25 (Reuters) - Indonesia's crude imports will keep rising over the next few years as its economy rebounds and a delay in getting peak output from the giant Cepu field defeats efforts to cut dependence on overseas crude.
Indonesia's need for crude imports for its simple refineries will feed competition among top Asian buyers such as China and India for sweet grades as regional supplies from matured fields dwindle while strong dated Brent prices may curb arbitrage flows from the Atlantic Basin.

Shanghai Futures to raise trading margins, limits
SHANGHAI, Nov 25 (Reuters) - The Shanghai Futures Exchange will raise trading margins and limits for all contracts from Nov. 30 in a bid to curb speculative trading, it said on Thursday.
The move follows similar measures by China's other two big commodity exchanges, in Zhengzhou and Dalian.

China says its commodity price crackdown worked
BEIJING, Nov 25 (Reuters) - China's crackdown on commodity prices has contributed to a widespread fall in futures in the last two weeks, the country's top economic planning body, the National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC), said on Thursday.
The NDRC listed 13 commodities in a statement on its website and compared prices on November 10-11 with prices on November 24, with declines ranging from 5.75 percent for rice to 18.35 percent for zinc.

Data hints US recovery is becoming self-sustaining
WASHINGTON, Nov 24 (Reuters) - New U.S. claims for jobless benefits hit their lowest level in more than two years last week while consumer spending rose for a fourth straight month in October, suggesting the economy is nearing a self-sustaining recovery.
The picture was further brightened by another report on Wednesday that showed consumer sentiment in November reached its highest level since June, likely reflecting the surge in stock prices in the wake of a Federal Reserve decision to again loosen monetary policy.

Commodity index net length rises to post-2008 high
NEW YORK, Nov. 24 (Reuters) - Net long index investment into commodity markets expanded by $5.7 billion to $187.4 billion in October, the highest since many major markets peaked in mid-2008, regulatory data showed on Wednesday.
But the Commodity Futures Trading Commission's monthly report on index positions also showed short index holdings alone rose by a sizable $7.5 billion to $67.3 billion, the highest since the agency began collecting data nearly three years ago, as many investors sought more active strategies. 

PRECIOUS-Gold eases; Europe debt worries, Koreas support
LONDON, Nov 25 (Reuters) - Gold eased for a second day on Thursday, lacking strong impetus due to the U.S. Thanksgiving holiday but backed up by some safe haven buying amid Europe's debt crisis and heightened tensions between the Koreas.
The dollar, which traditionally has an inverse relationship with bullion, strengthened against the euro  on renewed optimism over U.S. growth and persistent fears Ireland's debt crisis might spill over into Spain and Portugal.

FOREX-Euro stays weak near lows as debt crisis festers
LONDON, Nov 25 (Reuters) - The euro struggled near a two-month low on Thursday as the euro zone debt crisis showed little signs of abating and fears of contagion still high after Ireland unveiled an ambitious austerity plan.
Traders said Portugal and increasingly Spain were seen as potentially in need of financial help while Dublin's belt-tightening plan has come under fire for sticking to optimistic growth assumptions, unveiled earlier this month. 

Asia stocks rise on US shopper hopes, dollar up
HONG KONG, Nov 25 (Reuters) - Asian stocks rose from  1-1/2-month lows, with buying focused in the tech  and retail sectors on hopes for a busy U.S. shopping season,  though the falling Australian dollar was an indication of  investors' reduced willingness to take risks.
"Usually, if there is a lot of hot money coming to Hong  Kong, these IPOs should be doing well," said Belle Liang,  research head at Core Pacific-Yamaichi. "IPOs are being  delayed or withdrawn because of lacklustre demand."

20101126 0859 Soy Oil & Palm Oil Related News.

Palm oil up on strong demand, weather concerns
KUALA LUMPUR, Nov 25 (Reuters) - Malaysian palm oil futures advanced for a  second day as export data signalled a strong recovery in demand at  a time when heavy rains may curb production.
"Exports were very good although they were just a rebound from last  month's not so great numbers," said a trader with a foreign commodities  brokerage. 

Monsanto boosts investment in Canada canola
WINNIPEG, Manitoba, Nov 24 (Reuters) - Monsanto Co  has raised its spending on canola research and development to between C$20 million and C$30 million ($19.8 million to $29.7 million), roughly the same investment the company puts into wheat, the president of its Canadian operation said.
Acreage and production of canola, Canada's No. 2 crop after spring wheat, have expanded in the past decade amid strong global demand for vegetable oil and big profits for farmers.