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PublicInvest Research

Author: PublicInvest   |   Latest post: Fri, 4 Dec 2020, 10:06 AM

 

PublicInvest Research Headlines - 27 Dec 2019

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Economy

Global: Growth in trade volumes hit a wall in 2019. Global trade kicked off the fourth quarter on a weak footing, according to the CPB World Trade Monitor, recording a year-on-year decline of more than 2%, the most since the Great Recession a decade ago. More recently, there’s been a thawing in tensions between the US and China, along with a pickup in business sentiment. That suggests the world economy may be through the worst of the slowdown that dominated the story of 2019. (Bloomberg)

US: Filings for jobless benefits fall to three-week low. Filings for US unemployment benefits fell to a three-week low, reflecting a solid labor market and indicating the data are emerging from recent bout of seasonal volatility. Jobless claims declined to 222,000 in the week ended Dec 21 from 235,000, according to Labor Department figures released Thursday that were in line with the median forecast in Bloomberg’s survey of economists. Filings were estimated for six states and Puerto Rico. The decrease in filings, and gradual return to the longer-term trend, underscores recent signs of strength in the labor market. Companies may be less likely to let employees go amid an elevated level of job openings and difficulty luring talented and experienced personnel. Earlier this month, claims unexpectedly surged, likely due to the late timing of the Thanksgiving holiday. The spike underscores the challenge the government has in making seasonal adjustments to the data during the year-end holidays. (Bloomberg)

US: Consumer comfort hits nine-week high on economic optimism. Confidence among US consumers advanced to a nine-week high on greater optimism about the economy and brighter views of personal finances and the buying climate. Bloomberg’s index of consumer comfort increased to 62.3 in the week ended Dec 22 from 61.1, according to data released Thursday. A measure of confidence in  the economy climbed to the highest since the end of July, while the personal finances gauge also was the strongest in nine weeks. Record stock prices, unemployment at a five-decade low and steady wage gains continue to lift spirits, putting the 2019 average sentiment level on track for the best since the 1999-2000 dot-com boom. Combined with elevated sentiment, this backdrop helps explain the economy’s resilience in the face of business-investment cutbacks and global demand concerns. (Bloomberg)

China: Hits out at trade curbs in new US defence law. China said it “firmly opposes” trade restrictions included in a new US defence act, having already admonished the bill for interfering in the Asian economic power’s internal affairs. The National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) signed into law last week bars the use of federal funds to buy railcars and buses from China, and slows the lifting of sanctions on tech giant Huawei. It comes as Beijing and Washington have agreed to a temporary truce in their bruising nearly two-year trade war, with a “phase-one” deal that has rolled back tariffs on billions of dollars’ worth of goods. (Reuters)

Japan: Unemployment rate falls to 2.2% in Nov. The jobless rate in Japan came in at a seasonally adjusted 2.2% in Nov, the Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communications said. That was shy of expectations for 2.4%, which would have been unchanged from the Oct reading. The job-to-applicant ratio was 1.57 unchanged and as expected. The number of employed persons in Nov was 67.62m, an increase of 530,000 from the previous year. The number of unemployed persons in November was 1.51 million, a decrease of 170,000 from the previous year. (RTT)

Japan: Services producer prices rise at steady pace. Japan's services producer prices increased at a steady pace in Nov, data from Bank of Japan showed. Services producer prices increased 2.1% year on-year in Nov, the same rate of increase as seen in Oct. On a monthly basis, inflation eased to 0.2% from 1.9% in Oct. Nonetheless, prices have increased for the second straight month after staying flat in Sept. Excluding international transportation; services producer prices grew 0.2% on month, taking the annual growth to 2.1% in Nov. (RTT)

Japan: Kuroda says BoJ to ease policy without hesitation. The Bank of Japan will not hesitate to ease its monetary policy further if there is a greater possibility that the momentum towards achieving the 2% inflation target is lost, Governor Haruhiko Kuroda said. When the central bank pursues monetary easing, the economic stimulus adopted by the government can exert significant effects to maintain the expanding trend in the economy. That said, the cooperation between monetary and fiscal authorities entails difficulties in terms of ensuring public confidence toward macroeconomic policy. (RTT)

Japan: Tokyo overall CPI climbs 0.9% on year in Dec. Overall consumer prices in the Tokyo area were up 0.9% on year in Dec, the Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communications said. That was in line with expectations and up from 0.8% in Nov. Core CPI climbed an annual 0.8%, exceeding expectations for 0.6%, which would have been unchanged from the previous month. Individually, prices were up for food, housing, furniture, clothing, medical care and recreation. Prices were down for fuel and education. On a seasonally adjusted monthly basis, overall inflation was flat and core CPI gained 0.2%. (RTT)

Markets

TRC Synergy: Wins RM118.8m mint modernisation contract from BNM. TRC Synergy was awarded a RM118.8m contract by Bank Negara Malaysia (BNM) to modernise its mint in Shah Alam. No further detail about the job was provided in the announcement. The board is of the opinion that the project will contribute positively to the earnings and earnings per share of the TRC Group in the future. BNM planned to demolish its mint Kilang Wang Bank Negara Building on Persiaran Selangor, Selangor, and consequently redevelop the site as part of its mint modernisation project. (The Edge)

Alam Maritim: Bags RM14.42m contract from Petronas Carigali. Alam Maritim Resources has bagged a RM14.42m contract from Petronas Carigali SB. The group had won the work order from the Petroliam Nasional subsidiary to provide one anchor handling tug and supply vessel. Petronas Carigali will be chartering Alam Maritim's Setia Jihad vessel for up to 152 days, adding that the work order was effective Nov 12. The contract is expected to contribute positively to the earnings and net tangible assets of Alam Maritim and its group of companies for the financial year ending Dec 31, 2019. (The Edge)

Parkson: Sued over rental for outlet at Bangi mall. Parkson Holdings is being sued by developer PKNS-Andaman Development SB (PKNS) for allegedly failing to pay rental within the demised premises of EVO Shopping Mall in Bangi. It was served with a writ and statement of claim by PKNS, which is claming for, among others, reliefs totaling over RM5.5m. This includes payment of RM3.65m to PKNS, being the accrued monthly rental from April 2, 2018 to Dec 2, 2019, and thereafter at the rate of RM182,958 per month until the return of the demised premises to PKNS. (SunBiz)

Asia Poly: Sells entire stake in D’Nonce for a loss of RM3.08m. Asia Poly Holdings has ceased to be a shareholder in D’Nonce Technology. It had disposed of its entire 24.49 million shares or 9.37% stake in D’Nonce. The sale proceeds from the disposal will be used for repayment of bank borrowings by Dec 31, 2019, adding the sale was conducted on Dec 20. It sold the shares for RM10.28m, registering a loss of RM3.08m. Asia Poly had initially bought its stake in D’Nonce for RM13.37m. This loss translates into a decrease of 0.72sen for its earnings per share and 0.69sen for its net assets per share. (The Edge)

PLS Plantations: Given until Feb 29 to resolve public shareholder spread shortfall. PLS Plantations has been granted a three-month extension to resolve its public shareholders spread. The group said Bursa Malaysia has informed that it now has until Feb 29 next year to address the matter. As of Nov 29, 2019, PLS Plantations’ public shareholdings spread stood at 23.32%, 1.68% short of Bursa’s minimum 25% requirement. The company has yet to formulate any formal rectification plan to address the shortfall in the public shareholding spread requirement. (The Edge)

Steel: Govt imposes anti-dumping duties on cold rolled coils from four countries. The government has concluded the anti dumping investigation concerning imports of cold rolled coils of iron or non-alloy steel of width more than 1300mm from China, Japan, South Korea, and Vietnam and has decided to impose final affirmative anti-dumping duties. It has also made a final determination that the definitive anti-dumping duties will not be imposed on imports of tin mill black plate and subject merchandise for automotive and transformer’s finwall end-usage. (StarBiz)

Market Update

US markets reopened after the Christmas break to notch record closes again, with the Nasdaq Composite gaining 0.8% on the day to cross the 9,000 point mark for the first time ever. The Dow and S&P 500 rose 0.4% and 0.5% respectively. On the data front, weekly jobless claims fell 13,000 to 222,000 for the week ending Dec 21, though slightly higher than estimates. Markets across Europe remain shuttered for the Christmas break, as were markets in Hong Kong and Australia. In its regular Thursday press meeting, China’s Commerce Ministry said that the country is in close touch with the US on signing the initial trade deal. The Shanghai Composite Index rose 0.9% while the Nikkei 225 was up 0.6%.

TRC Synergy has been awarded a RM118.8m contract by Bank Negara Malaysia to modernise its mint in Shah Alam. Alam Maritim has secured an RM14.4m contract from Petronas Carigali to provide one anchor handling tug and supply vessel.

Source: PublicInvest Research - 27 Dec 2019

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Labels: TRC, ALAM, PARKSON, ASIAPLY, PLS

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