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Wednesday, 31 January 2018

BNM said headline inflation increased. Manufacturing sector & Industrial production index (IPI) registered a higher growth; moderation in both Mining and Electricity production.

Malaysia: The Malaysian financial markets performed strongly in December last year, with non-resident inflows into the bond and equity markets totalling RM4.1 billion and RM0.9 billion respectively, Bank Negara Malaysia (BNM) said.
The central bank said the increased demand for ringgit financial assets during the month was supported by improved investor sentiments amid an upward revision in Malaysia’s growth outlook by the International Monetary Fund and World Bank.
It said the ringgit was also supported by the subdued US dollar sentiments following uncertainties over the sustainability of the tax reform’s impact on the US’ longer-term economic growth.
“The ringgit appreciated by 0.6 per cent against the US dollar in December. For the year as a whole, the ringgit appreciated by 10.4 per cent to end the year at 4.0620 against the US dollar,” BNM said in its Monthly Highlight December 2017 released today.
It said net financing growth, excluding development financial institutions and corporate bonds, increased to 6.9 per cent in December as compared to 6.1 per cent in November while outstanding loan growth of the banking system increased to 4.1 per cent from 3.9 per cent in the previous month.
However, it said loan growth moderated, driven by stronger growth in business repayments mainly due to scheduled repayments and higher corporate earnings.
BNM said asset quality of the banking system remained sound as the level of impaired loans declined to 1.1 per cent of total loans, net of individual impairment provisions, from 1.2 per cent in November.
“The lower level of impaired loans is attributed to write-offs and recoveries,” it said.
It said banks maintained sufficient buffers for potential credit losses with loan loss coverage ratio standing at 82.9 per cent from 84 per cent in the previous month.
BNM said headline inflation increased slightly to 3.5 per cent in December mainly due to higher transport inflation.
“Although RON95 petrol averaged lower at RM2.27 per litre in December compared to RM2.30 per litre in November, the lower base of RON95 price in December 2016 (RM1.90 per litre) compared to November 2016 (RM1.95 per litre) resulted in higher inflation in the transport category,” it said.
It said food inflation also increased to 4.1 per cent in December from four per cent in the previous month on account of higher inflation in the food away from home sub-category.
Meanwhile, BNM said the overall industrial production index (IPI) recorded a higher growth of five per cent in November as compared to 3.4 per cent in October driven by higher expansion across the manufacturing sector, despite a moderation in both mining and electricity production.
“The manufacturing sector registered a higher growth of 6.7 per cent in November from 4.2 per cent in October driven mainly by export-oriented industries,” it added.
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Tuesday, 30 January 2018

Foreign notes overall supply of currencies by money changers to meet public demand : Bank Negara Malaysia

Malaysia: Bank Negara Malaysia is conducting an independent review over the reported currency theft at a money changer.
The central bank also assured the public that the theft had not affected the overall supply of currencies by money changers to meet public demand.
Some currency exchanges here reportedly might face shortages of foreign notes after RM8 million in cash was stolen recently.
It was reported that a worker with a distribution agency had allegedly made off with the notes meant for several money changers in the city.
Consumers can continue to obtain and exchange foreign currencies at licensed money changers nationwide, Bank Negara said in a statement today.
“The affected money changer and currency wholesalers have lodged police reports, and the case is currently under the investigation of the Royal Malaysian Police,” it added.
“The bank is separately conducting an independent review of the incident to determine if there were any breaches of regulations by the licensed money changers and currency wholesalers. Appropriate enforcement actions will be taken if a breach is established.”
Bank Negara added that it would continue to closely monitor the effectiveness of controls and risk mitigations implemented by licensed money service businesses to ensure the reliable and efficient provision of currency exchange services.
“An increasing number of money services companies are leveraging on technology to enhance controls, improve service delivery and reduce the reliance on physical currencies in the overall currency handling and exchange operations.”
Such developments will further minimise risks of disruptions to currency exchange services, it added.
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Monday, 29 January 2018

#Ringgit-continues-upward-momentum; Local note traded mostly higher.

Malaysia: The ringgit opened higher against the US dollar today on the back of better global crude oil prices.
At 9am, the ringgit stood at 3.8650/8680 against the greenback, from last Friday's close of 3.8690/8720.
Meanwhile, the local note traded mostly higher against a basket of other major currencies.
It rose against the Singapore dollar to 2.9560/9597 from 2.9607/9648, but depreciated against the yen to 3.5563/5601 from 3.5456/5490.
The ringgit was higher against the British pound at 5.4690/4736 from 5.5160/5222, and strengthened against the euro to 4.7976/8029 from last Friday's 4.8185/8234.

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Thursday, 25 January 2018

Investors will be focusing among heavyweights Maybank, Tenaga and Public Bank has new policy is shaping the US economy.

Malaysia: Shares on Bursa Malaysia were slightly higher at Thursday’s opening on mild buying support.
At 9.03 am, the benchmark FTSE Bursa Malaysia KLCI (FBM KLCI) stood at 1,837.31, up by 0.27 of-a-point from Wednesday's close of 1,837.04.
It opened 0.49 of-a-point easier at 1,836.55.Gainers beat losers 121 to 73, while 198 counters were unchanged, 1,477 untraded and 31 others suspended.
Turnover stood at 229.55 million shares worth RM123.87 million.
A dealer said Bursa Malaysia was lifted by some buying in local stocks in line with the positive overnight performance of US Wall Street as it welcomed Jerome Powell as the new Federal Reserve (Fed) Chair.
Powell, the first non-economist to be appointed to the post in the last 40 years, will helm the Fed effective Feb 4.
He replaces Janet Yellen, who served for only one term, and happens to be the first woman to occupy the chair.
“Investors will be focusing on Powell's new policy in shaping the US economy, which perhaps could provide some new leads for global stock markets,” the dealer said.
Among heavyweights, Maybank, Tenaga and Public Bank were flat at RM9.91, RM15.84 and RM20.96 respectively, while CIMB was one sen lower at RM6.94.
Of the actives, PA Resources rose one sen to 12.5 sen, Genting Malaysia rose five sen to RM5.63, while Sumatec Resources and Daya Materials were flat at 10.5 sen and nine sen respectively.
The FBM Emas Index added 1.90 points to 13,287.69, the FBMT 100 Index gained 4.67 points to 12,955.53 and the FBM 70 was up 8.89 points to 16,706.01.
The FBM Emas Shariah Index improved 2.32 points to 13,694.22, but the FBM Ace was 13.81 points lower at 6,702.30.Sector-wise, the Finance Index fell 6.15 points to 17,386.74 and the Plantation Index inched up 1.92 points to 8,058.08 and the Industrial Index improved 6.68 points to 3,362.36.

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Wednesday, 24 January 2018

Bursa a risk wobble overnight on the back of trade discussions; positive risk sentiment; #Ringgit positioned favourably

Malaysia: The ringgit further strengthened to open higher against the US dollar on Wednesday and on the back of a continued weakness in the greenback, said a dealer.
At 9.00 am, the ringgit stood at 3.9180/9210 against the greenback from Tuesday’s close of 3.9250/9280.
Oanda Corp Head of Trading for Asia Pacific, Stephen Innes, said despite a bit of risk wobble overnight on the back of trade discussions, the sun continued to shine on the ringgit this morning.
“The combination of firmer oil prices, broad-based US dollar weakness and positive risk sentiment on the back an International Monetary Fund (IMF) report that suggested the broadest synchronised global growth spurt since 2010.
“’This had the ringgit positioned favourably heading into tomorrow’s Bank Negara Malaysia Monetary Policy Committee meeting,” he added.
He said the the first salvo was launched today in what could develop into a long drawn out ” tit for tat” trade battle between the US against China and South Korea, and possibly the rest of Asia.
This followed tariffs imposed on imported solar panels and washing machines by the US administration, a move which was seen as potentially developing into the trade war between some global economies.
Emerging Market Asia will be following these developments closely as trade-related fears are probably the most prominent external risks since most regional economies are very trade oriented, said Innes.
“However, given the ringgit is less sensitive to external shocks than regional peers due to surging oil prices, the local currency will backtrack less than regional peers,” he added
Meanwhile, the ringgit traded lower against a basket of major currencies.
It weakened against the euro to 4.8184/8228 from Tuesday’s 4.8026/8079 and fell against the Singapore dollar to 2.9749/9790 from 2.9737/9771.
The ringgit depreciated against the yen to 3.5541/5571 from 3.5466/5499 and slipped against the British pound to 5.4876/4925 from 5.4738/4788 .

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Tuesday, 23 January 2018

Trusting that while there may be short term fluctuations, in the longer term the level of the ringgit would reflect the strength of the Malaysian economy : PM

Malaysia: Malaysia will not re-peg the ringgit to the US dollar as the move will be an “unmitigated” disaster for its economy, Datuk Seri Najib Razak said.
The Prime Minister said the ringgit was once pegged against the dollar for far too long, causing investors and global markets to lose confidence in the country.
“It took a long time to win that back. That was a very heavy cost to the country,” he said at Invest Malaysia here today.
“There were some leading the opposition “whom I’m afraid really don’t understand economics. They talk about us re-pegging the ringgit as though that would be an easy and helpful move.
“The reality is that this would be an unmitigated disaster for our economy and therefore for the prosperity of our people,” he added.
Najib made it very clear that the government would never repeat the measure, “trusting that while there may be short term fluctuations, in the longer term the level of the ringgit would reflect the strength of the Malaysian economy.”
Malaysia had in 1998 under then prime minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad pegged the ringgit at 3.8 to one US dollar during the Asian financial crisis. The peg was removed in 2005.
Najib said the ringgit had appreciated by 10.4 per cent against the dollar last year, and on January 5 this year, it had closed at a 17-month high, breaking the four dollar psychological barrier.
“This rise may have been partially underpinned by the recovery in crude oil prices, but it also indicates positive sentiment among investors and a recognition of Malaysia’s excellent economic and financial fundamentals,” he added.

Monday, 22 January 2018

Malaysia in trade and commerce being before gold imported into the country for a commercial purposes poised to take gold industry.

Malaysia: Malaysia is now poised to take on the world in the gold industry.
Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak said in the past, Malaysia did not have a gold refinery for commercial purposes within the country.
“Previously, gold had to be melted, refined and manufactured overseas before being imported into the country.
“Now, with the development of our first commercial gold refinery, we have the ability to process gold - from the smelting phase through to refinement - within Malaysia,” he said today.
Najib was speaking at the launch of Demi Idaman Sdn Bhd (DISB) certified gold bars and limited gold and silver coins named ‘Syiling Emas dan Syiling Perak Khas DYMM Sultan Selangor’ held at the Concorde Hotel here today.
A Selangor-based company, DISB is a producer of precious metal hallmark bars, minted coins, wafers and strips, including other customized-related products.
The product launch was graced by the Sultan of Selangor Sultan Sharafuddin Idris Shah, his consort Tengku Permaisuri Selangor Tengku Permaisuri Norashikin, and Raja Muda of Selangor Tengku Amir Shah.
Also present was Najib's wife, Datin Seri Rosmah Mansor.
Najib noted that few metals have been as important in making and shaping society as gold has.
Gold, he said, has been instrumental in trade and commerce, and a source of joy and fascination at the individual level.
He also pointed out that in recent years, gold has been a critical component of technology such as in modern microchip used in cellphones due to it being effective conductors.
“Gold value has long been recognised in Malaysia, with products such as Kijang Emas gold bullion coins and gold dinar coins while the buying and selling of gold takes place not just in traditional shops but also in licensed banks - and more recently, via derivative trading platforms.
“While its price may fluctuate, the underlying confidence that individuals, financial institutions, central banks and even governments have in gold is unlikely to diminish anytime soon.
"That is why it is so important that we continue to encourage the growth of the industry in Malaysia,” he said.
The prime minister said DISB, which is supported by the Malaysian Islamic Economic Development Foundation (Yapeim), would drive Muslim participation and empowerment in the industry.
Inaugurated in March 2010, DISB integrates foundry, refinery and manufacturing into various control production lines under a fully integrated manufacturing concept.
Apart from the precious metal manufacturing, DISB also provides research and development, testing, assaying, and logistic requirements for the industry.
At the same time, Najib highlighted that the nation's economy has beat all expectations, with the World Bank revising Malaysia's output to a very healthy 5.8 per cent over the course of 2017.
International companies are also coming to Malaysia at an unseen before pace, including energy giant Saudi Aramco and HSBC, one of the world's largest banks.
He said these companies had announced plans to invest billions in Malaysia over the years, with many multinational corporations (MNC) following suit.
"This is reflective of the confidence the international community has shown in Malaysia over the past years.
“Institutions such as the World Bank, the International Monetary Fund and many other respected global bodies had commended the government’s prudence in handling the economy, and recognised that its resilience and competitiveness have been built up for the good of the Malaysian people,” he said.

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Friday, 19 January 2018

U.S. output to break through 10 million barrels as expected fall in demand when winter ends. Investors positioning!

SINGAPORE: Oil prices fell on Friday on a bounce-back in U.S. production, but ongoing declines in crude inventories curbed losses in the market.
Brent crude futures were at $68.78 at 0128 GMT, down 53 cents, or 0.8 percent, from their last close. On Monday, they hit their highest since December, 2014 at $70.37 a barrel.
U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude futures were at $63.36 a barrel, down 59 cents, or 0.9 percent, from their last settlement. WTI marked a December-2014 peak of $64.89 a barrel on Tuesday.
Traders said the lower prices were prompted by a recovery in U.S. oil production after a recent drop, as well as by an expected fall in demand when winter ends in the northern hemisphere.
U.S. crude oil production stood at 9.75 million barrels per day (bpd) on Jan. 12, data from the Energy Information Administration (EIA) showed.
Output had fallen to 9.49 million barrels at the start of the year, due largely to a cold snap that shut down some production.
Most analysts expect U.S. output to break through 10 million barrels per day soon.
Analysts also pointed to excessive long positions in financial oil markets as a likely brake on any upward momentum in prices, with many traders soon likely to cash in on recent price rises, which saw crude jump by around 14 percent since early December.
"An upcoming soft patch in demand and extreme investors positioning does open up the possibility of some short-term weakness," ANZ bank said.
Overall, however, oil prices remain well supported, and most analysts do not expect steep declines.
The main price driver has been a production cut by a group of major oil producers around the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) and Russia, who started to withhold production in January last year.
The supply cuts by OPEC and its allies, which are scheduled to last throughout 2018, were aimed at tightening the market in order to prop up prices.
In the United States, crude inventories fell 6.9 million barrels in the week to Jan. 12, to 412.65 million barrels.
That's their lowest seasonal level in three years and below the five-year average marker around 420 million barrels. 

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