Wednesday, February 2, 2011

20110202 0943 Global Economic Related News.

U.S: Manufacturing in January grows by most since 2004, reinforcing forecasts the economic recovery will strengthen in 2011. The Institute for Supply Managements factory index rose to 60.8. Readings greater than 50 signal growth. (Source: Bloomberg)

Spain: AA rating affirmed by S&P as pension overhaul welcomed. The outlook remains negative, the rating company said in an e-mailed statement. It expects the country to have met its budget-deficit target of 9.3% of output last year and to approach the 6% objective in 2011, even as its growth forecasts are more pessimistic than the governments. (Source: Bloomberg)

China: Manufacturing growth in January maintains rate pressure. Chinas manufacturing expanded and input costs climbed, underscoring the case for more interest- rate increases to tame inflation pressures in the fastest- growing major economy. A reading of 52.9 for a purchasing managers index released by Chinas logistics federation on its website exceeded the 50 level dividing expansion and contraction. A PMI from HSBC Holdings Plc and Markit Economics rose to 54.5 from 54.4. (Source: Bloomberg)

S. Korea: January Inflation climbs to 4.1% YoY, adds rate pressure. The consumer-price index gained 3.5% YoY in December. Exports surged 46% YoY to a record USD 44.89b in January. (Source: Bloomberg)          

Indonesia: May keep rate at record low, tolerating inflation
Indonesia’s central bank may keep interest rates at a record low this week, tolerating inflation that has accelerated to a 21-month high as policy makers seek to avoid attracting more capital inflows. The reference rate will stay at 6.5% when policy makers meet on 4 Feb, according to 16 of 22 economists surveyed by Bloomberg News. Central banks from India to Thailand and South Korea raised borrowing costs in January as inflation accelerates across a region that’s leading the recovery from the 2009 global recession. (Bloomberg) India:

Manufacturing growth accelerated in January
India’s manufacturing growth accelerated and exports climbed the most in nine months, adding to the case for the central bank to extend Asia’s fastest interest-rate increases in the past year to curb inflation. The Purchasing Managers’ Index rose to 56.8 in January from 56.7 in December, HSBC Holdings Plc and Markit Economics said in an e-mailed statement today. A reading above 50 indicates expansion. India’s merchandise exports gained 36.4% in December from a year earlier, the trade ministry said in a statement in New Delhi today. (Bloomberg)

China: Factory output slowed in January
China’s factories slowed a touch in January under the weight of monetary tightening, but input prices rose quickly, keeping the pressure on the government to tackle inflation despite easing growth. The official purchasing managers’ index (PMI) fell to a five-month low of 52.9 in January, the China Federation of Logistics and Purchasing said yesterday, missing the median forecast of 53.5 in a Reuter’s poll. (Bloomberg)

EU: ECB fails to sterilize bond purchases with deposits
The European Central Bank failed to fully neutralize the liquidity created by its bond purchases for the third time since the program began. The Frankfurt-based central bank said today it drained EUR68.2bn (USD93.9bn) from money markets via seven-day term deposits, EUR 8.3bn less than the EUR 76.5bn it intended to absorb. The failure to drain the intended amount today adds further “downside pressure on overnight rates,” said Christopher Rieger, head of fixed-income strategy at Commerzbank AG in Frankfurt. (Bloomberg)

EU: Manufacturing growth quickens to 9-month high
European manufacturing growth was stronger than initially estimated in January, accelerating to the fastest pace in nine months on stronger output in Germany. A gauge of manufacturing in the euro region rose to 57.3 from 57.1 in December, London-based Markit Economics said in an e-mailed report today. That’s the highest since April and above the initially reported 56.9. A reading above 50 indicates growth. In Germany, output growth slowed less than initially estimated, with a gauge at 60.5, down from 60.7. (Bloomberg)

20110202 0942 Malaysia Corporate Related News.

Sunway REIT: Targets RM7b asset value. Sunway REIT Management Sdn Bhd, the manager for Sunway REIT, is looking to make some sizeable and meaningful asset acquisitions in the medium term and plans to expand its asset value to RM7b in the next five to seven years. One of the acquisitions will involve a shopping mall from a third party vendor. (Source: The Star)

CB Industrial: Unit to build mill in Ivory Coast. CB Industrial Product Holdings Bhd's unit Modipalm Engineering Sdn Bhd has secured a contract from Dekel Oil CI SA, worth RM40.3m, to build a mill in Ivory Coast. Modipalm would design, supply and install mechanical and electrical works for 60 tonnes per hour palm oil mill. (Source: Bursa Malaysia)

HSL: Wins contract RM16m.Hock Seng Lee Bhd (HSL) has secured a RM16.2m contract from the Sarawak Industrial Development Ministry for a project in Samarahan Industrial Estate. The project would involve site clearing, earthworks and infrastructure. (Source: The Star)

O&G: Technip-Daewoo group wins Petronas contract. Petroliam Nasional Bhd (Petronas) and its unit, MISC Bhd, have awarded a foreign consortium consisting of French-based Technip SA and South Korean Daewoo Shipbuilding & Marine Engineering Co Ltd, a key engineering contract for a floating liquefied natural gas (FLNG) unit in Malaysia. The contract involves front-end engineering and design (FEED) for a FLNG unit with annual capacity of one million tonnes and is scheduled to be completed by the second half of this year. (Source: The Star)

Plantation: Malaysian refiners eye Indonesian palm oil. Malaysian refiners have been forced to import extra Indonesian crude palm oil (CPO) after floods in a key growing area submerged estates and cut off roads, delaying at least 70,000 tonnes of refined exports to major buyers like China and India. Heavy rain during the weekend covered many estates in Malaysia's No. 2 oil palm growing region of southern Johor, disrupting the supply chain from the estates to the refineries. To meet the shortfall in supply, refiners in Malaysia's key export port of Pasir Gudang in Johor were eyeing Indonesian palm oil stored in floating barges in the Malacca Strait. (Source: Business Times)

Telecommunication: International submarine cable system. Telekom Malaysia (TM) and Japans NTT Communications (NTT Com) signed the agreement for the development of a new USD140m international submarine cable system to enhance Internet communications in the region. The cable system, called Cahaya Malaysia will have six fiber pairs and they would be built at a cost of USD412m. TM will own two fiber pairs, while NTT Com will own the remaining four. (Source: Bernama)

MMC-Gamuda get letter of award for Klang Valley MRT
Gamuda said its joint venture with MMC Corp was appointed project delivery partner by the Government for the implementation of the Klang Valley mass rail project in Malaysia. The MMC Corporation-Gamuda joint venture has received a letter of award from Syarikat Prasarana Negara Bhd (SPNB) to carry out the Klang Valley mass rapid transit (MRT) project. MMC said the scope, terms and conditions of the appointment will be subject to the finalised and executed project agreement between the government and SPNB. The appointment was also subject to the execution of a comprehensive and definitive agreement between the JV partners and SPNB. (BTimes & Financial Daily)

AZRB, Jasa Bakti JV awarded RM125m public housing project
Ahmad Zaki Resources Bhd and Jasa Bakti SB have been awarded a RM125m contract to undertake a public housing project in Kuala Terengganu. AZRB said it had received a letter of acceptance from the Housing and Local Government Ministry to build 1,002 flats under the public housing program (PPR-for rental) in Changang Tiga, Kuala Terengganu. (Financial Daily)

Penang LRT back on track?
The Land and Public Transport Authority is likely to spearhead Penang's proposed light rapid transit system, say sources. The federal government may revive a project to build a light rapid transit (LRT) system for Penang, as part of efforts to reduce traffic congestion nationwide. Business Times has learnt that the scheme is likely to be an expansion of the Government's efforts to improve public transport via projects such as Kuala Lumpur's first mass rapid transit system (MRT) and the proposed light rail service in the Iskandar Development Region in Johor. However, there is no known time-frame attached to this project. (Business Times)

Maybank's BII returns to the black
PT Bank Internasional Indonesia Tbk (BII) recorded a significant turnaround when it reported a net profit of IDR461bn (RM157m) for 2010 compared with a net loss of IDR41bn rupiah (RM13.9 m) posted in 2009. The turnaround was due to greater growth across the core businesses and continuous improvements in all business operations, said Maybank. Maybank is the majority shareholder with a 97.52% equity stake in BII. (Business Times)

SapCrest, Kencana and Petrofac in JV to develop Berantai
Sapura Crest Petroleum (SapCrest), Kencana Petroleum and Petrofac Energy Developments, a unit of Londonlisted Petrofac, has entered into a joint venture (JV) to develop and operate the Berantai field located 150km offshore Terengganu. The contract would be for nine years commencing Jan 31, 2011 with first gas from the project expected by the end of Dec 2011. Separate filings by SapCrest and Kencana to the stock exchange showed that both would have a 25% stake in the joint operating agreement with Petrofac owning the remainder stake. The total development cost including for the subsequent phase, to be incurred collectively by the operating parties, was estimated at this juncture at approximately USD800m, excluding the provision of the FPSO. (StarBiz)

20110202 0939 Global Market Related News.

OIL: Oil steadies ahead of US inventory data, Egypt supports
SINGAPORE, Feb 2 (Reuters) - Oil steadied near $91 on Wednesday ahead of U.S. inventory data that is expected to show domestic crude stocks rose last week, while the unrest in Egypt continued to support sentiment. 
Cargo operations at Egypt's Alexandria and Damietta ports have come to a virtual standstill as widespread unrest keeps key staff from work and throws the economy into turmoil, shipping sources said.

COMMODITIES: Copper, soybeans surge; US crude dips
NEW YORK, Feb 1 (Reuters) - Copper hit record peaks near $10,000 a tonne on Tuesday after data suggesting a pickup in U.S. economic recovery, and soybeans surged to a 30-month top, extending the commodities rally into February.
"Brent is up and U.S. crude is down today because any possible disruption in oil supplies passing through choke points such as the Suez Canal has a greater impact on Brent than U.S. crude," said Joe Possillico at commodity brokers MF Global.

GLOBAL MARKETS:Stocks, euro rally on data as Egypt fears ebb
NEW YORK, Feb 1 (Reuters) - Global stocks jumped on Tuesday in a broad rally spurred by hopes of further economic recovery after strong factory data worldwide, while safe-haven assets such as bonds fell as worries about unrest in Egypt ebbed.
"While skeptics might attribute the recent ascent in stock prices to animal spirits, we believe that fundamentals are the real story behind the market's success," said Jonathan Golub, strategist at UBS in New York.

US crude stocks seen up, distillates down
NEW YORK, Feb 1 (Reuters) - U.S. crude oil inventories are expected to have risen last week on higher imports while colder weather drew down distillate stockpiles, an expanded Reuters poll of analysts showed on Tuesday.
Crude stockpiles were forecast up 2.7 million barrels for the week to Jan. 28 as companies continued seasonal import increases, according to the survey of 14 analysts ahead of weekly U.S. inventory data.

China, India PMIs foreshadow rising inflation
BEIJING/BANGALORE, Feb 1 (Reuters) - Input prices jumped in Chinese and Indian factories in January, adding to pressure from food inflation that the fast-growing economies are already struggling to contain, business surveys showed on Tuesday.
But the purchasing managers' indexes (PMIs) in both countries should also give their governments the confidence to stay the course in monetary tightening, analysts said, with firms reporting a steady expansion of activity.

US factory, spending data support strong growth tone
WASHINGTON, Jan 31 (Reuters) - Factory activity in the U.S. Midwest hit a 22-1/2 year high in January as orders surged and employment prospects brightened, providing a fresh signal that the economy would stay on a solid growth path this year.
Another report on Monday showed consumer spending ended 2010 on a firmer footing, a trend that economists expected to continue as the labor market recovery gains traction.

Commodity prices to increase in 2011 - WTO chief
GENEVA, Jan 31 (Reuters) - Economic recovery will make food, metals and other raw materials more expensive in 2011, the head of the World Trade Organization said on Monday.Addressing a United Nations conference, WTO Director-General Pascal Lamy said the prices of crude oil, copper, gold, corn and soybeans would rise most this year, with less pronounced increases in natural gas, zinc and cattle.
"2011 will see the prices of most commodities rise, as the rise in global GDP bolsters demand, led by emerging economies," the Frenchman said, estimating worldwide economic output would increase 4 percent in 2011.

PRECIOUS-Gold edges higher after January's heavy loss
LONDON, Feb 1 (Reuters) - Gold rose in Europe on Tuesday as the dollar index hit a 12-week low and geopolitical tensions centred on Egypt added risk premium to prices, with Asian demand for coins and bars after January's price drop adding support.
However, the metal is expected to stay under pressure after posting its biggest one-month drop since Dec. 2009 in January as investors' appetite for risk improved, diverting interest from so-called safe havens like gold into higher-yielding assets.

FOREX-Euro hits 2-mth high vs dollar on rate view
LONDON, Feb 1 (Reuters) - The euro rallied to its highest against the dollar in more than two months on Tuesday, boosted by signs that increasing inflation pressures will prompt a much faster rise in euro zone than in U.S. interest rates.
Traders said the latest leg-up for the single currency during the European session was driven by demand from Middle Eastern investors, while Asian names were also seen buying back euro positions sold earlier in the day.

Upbeat PMIs lift stocks; dollar weak
LONDON, Feb 1 (Reuters) - Investors shifted their focus from Middle East turmoil to concentrate on improved economic data and corporate results on Tuesday, lifting global stocks.
"There is confidence in the market as companies are reporting good figures," said Heinz-Gerd Sonnenschein, equity markets strategist at Deutsche Postbank in Bonn.

20110202 0938 Soy Oil & Palm Oil Related News.

Soy-product futures soared in unison with soybean, with soyoil propelled by fresh sales to China and strong global vegoil prices. Soymeal, analysts noted, was buoyed by outlooks for increased livestock feed demand as frigid weather is expected to follow a heavy snowstorm in the central US. Reports that soymeal shipments form Argentina ports are delayed due to a strike was also seen providing some underlying strength. CBOT March soyoil ended 1.5% higher at 58.72c/pound while soymeal climbed 2.6% to $390/short ton. (Source: CME)

Thailand to import another 120,000 tonnes palm oil
BANGKOK, Feb 1 (Reuters) - Thailand said on Tuesday it would import an additional 120,000 tonnes of crude palm oil to ease a shortage that has pushed up the cost of meals, on top of 30,000 tonnes already brought in this year from neighbouring Malaysia.
"The oil should be imported by the end of March as we don't want to hurt farmers by importing more oil into the country when domestic supply is due to rise," Deputy Prime Minister Suthep Thaugsuban told reporters.

More Malaysian palm oil delayed on floods, refiners eye Indonesia
KUALA LUMPUR, Feb 1 (Reuters) - Planters in Malaysia have delayed another 30,000 tonnes of palm oil exports for a week as floods continue to cut road access in a key producing area, refiners said on Tuesday.
The delays reported on Tuesday, bring total delayed shipments from the southern Malaysia state of Johor to at least 70,000 tonnes over three days.
Heavy rains at the weekend triggered floods in the Southeast Asian country's No.2 producing region, disrupting the palm oil supply chain from the estates to the refineries.

Rains foster Argentina soy growth, help corn- gov't
BUENOS AIRES, Jan 31 (Reuters) - A second week of rains boosted soy crops in Argentina's top growing region and should help late-planted corn to recover from weeks of dryness, the government said on Monday.
Argentina is the world's No. 3 exporter of soybeans and the top supplier of soyoil and soymeal, but weeks of severe dryness prompted analysts to lower their forecasts for the country's 2010/11 harvest earlier this month.

Rain keeps Brazil soy belt on bumper crop course
SAO PAULO, Jan 31 (Reuters) - Moderate rainfall fell over the weekend and should continue through this week over most of Brazil's soybean belt, which is inching closer to a bumper harvest that should pick up speed through February, meteorologists Somar said on Monday.
Producers are beginning early harvest of short cycle beans in a handful of regions in No. 1 soy producer state Mato Grosso and No. 2 Parana, but widespread harvesting will not get underway in these early harvesting states until March-April.