PublicInvest Research

PublicInvest Research Headlines - 13 Mar 2024

PublicInvest
Publish date: Wed, 13 Mar 2024, 10:43 AM
PublicInvest
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An official blog in I3investor to publish research reports provided by PublicInvest Research team.

All materials published here are prepared by Public Investment Bank Berhad. For latest offers on Public Invest trading products and news, please refer to: https://www.publicinvestbank.com.my/pbswecos/default.asp

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HEADLINES

Economy

US: Core inflation tops forecasts for second straight month. Underlying US inflation topped forecasts for a second month in Feb as prices jumped for used cars, air travel and clothes, reinforcing the Federal Reserve’s (Fed) cautious approach to cutting interest rates. The so-called core consumer price index (CPI), which excludes food and energy costs, increased 0.4% from Jan, according to government data. From a year ago, it advanced 3.8%. Economists see the core gauge as a better indicator of underlying inflation than the overall CPI. (Bloomberg)

US: Consumer outlook on longer-term inflation hit snag in Feb – NY Fed. The public’s expectations around the longer-run trajectory of inflation deteriorated in Feby, a report from the Federal Reserve Bank of New York. While inflation a year from now was seen holding steady at 3%, respondents to the bank’s latest Survey of Consumer Expectations said that they see inflation three years from now moving to 2.7% from Jan’s 2.4%, with inflation in five years at 2.9%, from the prior month’s 2.5%. (Reuters)

EU: German Inflation Weakest Since Mid-2021. German consumer prices posted its weakest rise since mid-2021, as initially estimated, on weaker energy and food prices in Feb, final data from Destatis revealed. The consumer price inflation slowed to 2.5% in Feb from 2.9% in Jan. The last time inflation was lower was in June 2021, when it stood at 2.4%. Excluding energy and food, core inflation was 3.4%, the same as in Jan and matched flash estimate. This was well above the European Central Bank's 2% target. (RTT)

UK: Unemployment rate rises unexpectedly; wage growth slows. The UK unemployment rate increased unexpectedly in Jan, while the softening of pay growth soothed fears of inflation building up, data published by the Office for National Statistics showed. The ILO jobless rate rose to 3.9% in the three months to Jan from 3.8% in the prior period. The rate was seen unchanged at 3.8%. At the same time, the employment rate came in at 75.0%. Average earnings excluding bonus gained 6.1% in the three months to Jan. (RTT)

Australia: NAB business conditions improve. Australia business conditions improved in Feb as the economy remained resilient at the start of the year, but confidence weakened to remain stuck at a low level, survey results from NAB showed. The business conditions index rose three points to 10 in Feb. The index exceeded the long-run average. Both trading conditions and profitability strengthened in Feb, while the employment index remained broadly stable. By industry, the improvement in business conditions was led by manufacturing, finance, business and property, mining, wholesale and recreation and personal services. (RTT)

Markets

UEM Sunrise (Underperform, TP: RM0.70): Appoints TRX City’s Datuk Azmar Talib as independent non-executive director. UEM Sunrise has appointed Datuk Azmar Talib as one of its independent non-executive directors, effective March 11, according to a press statement. UEM Sunrise looks forward to the invaluable insights and leadership that Datuk Azmar will bring to the board, further strengthening our commitment to excellence and innovation in the property development and real estate industry. Currently the group CEO of TRX City SB, Azmar oversees the development of TRX, which is envisioned as the International Financial Centre of Malaysia. (StarBiz)

Microlink: Not aware of reason for share price plunge. Microlink Solutions, whose share price plunged to its lowest in more than two years, said it is not aware of any possible explanation for the unusual market activity (UMA). The sharp fall had prompted Bursa Malaysia to suspend intraday short selling activities on the stock. Responding to Bursa Malaysia’s query on the UMA, Microlink said it is not aware of any corporate development relating to the group’s business that has not been previously announced. (The Edge)

HexTech: Sells Klang land for RM8.8m. Hextar Technologies Solutions (HexTech) has entered into a sale and purchase agreement (SPA) with Dataran Ehsan SB to dispose of a piece of land in Klang, Selangor, for RM8.78m cash. In a filing with Bursa Malaysia, HexTech said its wholly-owned subsidiary Sin Hiap Hoe Trading and Transport SB signed the SPA for the disposal of a 99- year leasehold land measuring 9,712 sq m in Klang to Dataran Ehsan. (StarBiz)

Eversendai: In talks with IRB to withdraw winding-up petition following RM1.97m settlement. Eversendai Corp said its unit is currently in talks with the Inland Revenue Board (IRB) to withdraw the winding-up petition initiated by the IRB, following the settlement of the amount allegedly owed. Its wholly owned unit Eversendai Engineering SB (EESB) received the winding-up petition letter from IRB on Feb 21, claiming a total of RM1.97m, being outstanding tax liabilities plus interest of 5% and cost. The group further explained that the delay in making the announcement is due to miscommunication between the personnel in the subsidiary company and the holding company. (The Edge)

SCIB: RM97.75m contract with Landasan Kapital falls through. Sarawak Consolidated Industries’ (SCIB) RM97.75m contract with Landasan Kapital (M) SB has fallen through following a mutual termination between the two parties. The engineering, procurement, construction and commissioning contract, originally planned to span 23 months, involved the supply of materials, labour, tools, and equipment for civil, structural, architectural, and mechanical works related to the construction of a residential project. (The Edge)

Sapura Energy: Gets standstill period for financiers extended till June 10. Financially troubled Sapura Energy has been granted a three-month extension by the Corporate Debt Restructuring Committee (CDRC) to push the deadline of its standstill period, which shields it from actions from its multi-currency financing (MCF) creditors, to June 10. This marks the second extension it has obtained from the CDRC following a six-month extension it obtained earlier, which ended on March 10, 2024. (The Edge).

MARKET UPDATE

The FBM KLCI might open with a positive note after US stocks ended sharply higher yesterday, with the S&P 500 registering a record high close as Oracle shares surged and consumer price data failed to dampen investors' hopes of interest rate cuts in the coming months. Shares of Oracle jumped 11.7% and reached a record high, a day after it reported upbeat quarterly results and said it is set to make a joint announcement with artificial intelligence chip giant Nvidia. Nvidia shares gained 7.2% and an index of semiconductors rose 2.1% and snapped a two-day losing streak. The Labour Department reported that the Consumer Price Index (CPI) rose 0.4 % last month after climbing 0.3 % in January. Excluding volatile food and energy components, consumer prices increased 0.4 % in February after rising by the same margin in January. The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 235.83 points, or 0.61%, to 39,005.4. The S&P 500 gained 57.3 points, or 1.12%, at 5,175.27 and the Nasdaq Composite added 246.36 points, or 1.54%, at 16,265.64. MSCI's gauge of stocks across the globe rose 7.08 points, or 0.92%, to 775.85 following two straight declines. In Europe, the STOXX 600 index closed up 1% at a record, while the broad FTSEurofirst 300 index rose 19.77 points, or 0.99%. Back home, Bursa Malaysia extended its gains to close higher for the fourth straight day on Tuesday, supported by continuous buying in most heavyweights amidst the recovery tone in regional markets. At the closing bell, the FBM KLCI rose 9.85 points to 1,554.56 from Monday's close of 1,544.71.

Source: PublicInvest Research - 13 Mar 2024

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