Brent crude was 0.06% lower to US$52.96 per barrel at 3.35pm.
The ringgit was flat at 4.3983 per US dollar at 3.42pm.
Top foreign stories
South-East Asian stocks poised to start outperforming peers: After lagging behind the wider region since 2013’s taper tantrum, South-East Asian stocks are poised to start outperforming their peers, said Morgan Stanley and Nomura Holdings Inc in research notes released on Thursday and Friday, respectively. The “dovish tightening” by the Federal Reserve is supportive of emerging-market currencies in general, providing a reprieve to South-East Asian equities, Morgan Stanley said. — Bloomberg
Murky oil inventory picture leaves market grappling for clarity: The jury is still out over whether an Opec-led production cut aimed at tightening oil markets is working, or if the producer club has simply enabled higher prices without making much of a dent in the global fuel supply overhang. — Reuters
China money rates rise as Beijing steps up shadow bank crackdown: Chinese money market rates and bond yields rose this week as the government stepped up its crackdown on the shadow banking and riskier financing practices, but fresh cash injections by the central bank helped avert any severe cash shortgages. Analysts say the injection of 665.5 billion yuan (US$96.76 billion) into the banking system by the People’s Bank of China this week was mainly aimed at preventing a repeat of the 2013 liquidity crisis, when its inaction in money markets fuelled a cash crunch that saw short-term rates spike. — Reuters
S. Korea Lotte Group to combine units into holding company: South Korea’s Lotte Group plans to combine parts of four units including flagship retailer Lotte Shopping Co Ltd into a holding company to resolve cross-shareholding issues, online website Money Today reported. The boards of Lotte Shopping, Lotte Confectionery, Lotte Chilsung Beverage and Lotte Food will convene as early as next week to discuss the issue, it said. — Reuters
Goldman says ignore the technical, savour the fundamental on oil: Goldman Sachs Group Inc says there’s no fundamental evidence in the oil market to justify this week’s selloff in prices. The bank finds the pace of declines in US crude inventories encouraging, with an acceleration in draw downs expected through the second quarter as Opec cuts output and demand grows, according to a report dated April 20. — Bloomberg
March global billings for chip equipment makers surge: North America-based manufacturers of semiconductor equipment posted US$2.03bil in billings worldwide in March 2017 as they benefited from the latest semiconductor investment cycle. — StarBiz
Top local stories
Strong debut by Eversafe Rubber: Eversafe Rubber Bhd made a strong debut debut on the ACE market of Bursa Malaysia on Friday, surging to an early high of 46.5 sen. It opened at 46 sen, or 10 sen above its initial public offering price of 36 sen. — StarBiz
Tie-up with Angkasa to lift revenue of Tun Hussein Onn Eye Hospital: Tun Hussein Onn National Eye Hospital aims to increase its revenue next year to RM59 million from RM34 million in 2016 via its partnership with the Malaysian National Cooperative Movement (Angkasa). — Bernama
Malindo receives IATA certificate: Malindo Air has received its International Air Transportation Association (IATA) certificate as an IATA member. — StarBiz
Malaysia needs more certified financial planners: Financial Planning Association of Malaysia chief executive officer Linnet Lee said the association intended to increase the number of certified financial planners (CFPs) in the country via active promotions of the industry. The association aims to have 2,650 CFPs in the country by the year-end compared with 2,590 now, she said. — Bernama
RAM Ratings affirms CJ Capital’s RM114m sukuk: RAM Ratings has reaffirmed the AAA/Stable rating of CJ Capital Sdn Bhd’s RM114mil sukuk murabahah (2010/2020). It said the rating reflects the highly predictable cashflow, the strength and legality of the transaction’s key governing documents, the low level of counterparty risk and the tight structural features and restrictive covenants of the facility. — StarBiz
Morgan Stanley sees five reasons to go overweight on Malaysia stocks: Morgan Stanley initiated Malaysia's stock market at overweight, despite noting the MSCI Malaysia has gained more than 6 percent so far this year, as it pointed to five tailwinds. - StarBiz