Breakfast briefing: Wednesday, June 28 (Update) - Business News | The Star Online


Breakfast briefing: Wednesday, June 28 (Update)

MarketWatch: The tech-heavy Nasdaq led a broad Wall Street decline on Tuesday with stocks falling more sharply after a healthcare bill was delayed in the US Senate, raising fresh questions about President Trump's domestic agenda. The DJIA fell 98.89 points, or 0.46%, to 21,310.66, the S&P 500 lost 19.69 points, or 0.81%, to 2,419.38 and the Nasdaq dropped 100.53 points, or 1.61%, to 6,146.62. - Reuters




Oil prices rose nearly 2% and hit a one-week high on Tuesday, boosted by a weaker dollar, short covering and expectations that crude inventories in the United States may decline for a third consecutive week. Brent crude futures LCOc1 gained 82 cents, or 1.79%, to settle at US$46.65 per barrel. - Reuters


Forex summary

*The ringgit gained 0.23% to 4.2665 per US$

*Down 0.89% to 4.8665 versus euro

*Down 0.56% to 5.4953 per pound sterling

*Up 0.05% to 3.0928 per Singapore dollar

*Flat at 3.2624 per Aussie

*Down 0.24% at 3.8259 per 100 yen


Top foreign stories


Fed's Yellen expects no new financial crisis in 'our lifetimes’: US Federal Reserve chair Janet Yellen said on Tuesday that she does not believe that there will be another financial crisis for at least as long as she lives, thanks largely to reforms of the banking system since the 2007-09 crash. Yellen said it would "not be a good thing" if reforms of the financial services industry since the crisis were unwound, and urged those who had helped manage the fallout at the time to be vocal in preventing such a dilution. - Reuters


Canada allows Dow, Dupont merger after firms agree to sell assets: Canada's Competition Bureau said on Tuesday it would allow a planned merger between DuPont and Dow Chemical Co after both firms agreed to dispose of some assets. - Reuters


IMF cuts US growth forecasts, cites Trump fiscal plan uncertainty: The International Monetary Fund on Tuesday cut its growth forecasts for the US economy to 2.1% for both 2017 and 2018, dropping its assumption that President Donald Trump's tax cut and fiscal spending plans would boost growth. The IMF said the Trump administration was unlikely to achieve its goal of annual GDP growth of 3% over a sustained period, partly because the labour market is at a level consistent with full employment. The US economy grew 1.6% last year. - Reuters


Madoff settlements reach US$12b with new accords: The trustee recouping money for Bernard Madoff's victims on Tuesday announced nearly US$371 million of new settlements with two groups of offshore funds that invested with the imprisoned Ponzi schemer, boosting the total recovery to about US$12 billion. - Reuters


Nestle plans US$20.8b share buyback amid Third Point pressure: Nestle plans to buy back as much as 20 billion Swiss francs (US$20.8 billion) worth of shares over three years, it said on Tuesday, days after US activist shareholder Third Point LLC began a campaign to boost performance at the company. - Reuters


Top local stories


Mulpha chairman denies exploiting residents: Mulpha International Bhd ’s 22.6% associate in Australia, the Aveo Group which operates a retirement village, has come under fire but chairman Lee Seng Huang claimed it is a victim of sensationalised and biased reporting. An ABC News’ Four Corners and Fairfax Media report claimed Aveo was prone to exploiting its residents when running its retirement villages, which Lee denied. - StarBiz


Local property market likely bottomed out: Industry observers and analysts believe the local property market has likely bottomed out, and that an improved earnings performance is on the horizon for local property player, given the 14% rise in the KL Property Index year to date. - StarBiz


More loans taken out for property transactions: A pick-up in property loans and push in sales by developers have consultants cautiously optimistic about the local property market for the remainder of 2017. Property consultancy PPC International managing director Datuk Siders Sittampalam said the number of loan applications in the first three months of the year rose about 19%, versus a year earlier. - StarBiz


Economists bullish on labour market: Economists are still bullish on the country’s labour market amid latest statistics indicating weak and cautious online hiring. Most economists are projecting an unemployment rate of between 3.3% and 3.4% for this year. The unemployment rate in April and March this year was flat at 3.4% and averaged 3.5% in 2016. - StarBiz


Century Logistics plans to acquire mid-sized firm: Century Logistics Holdings Bhd is looking to acquire a mid-sized logistics and parcel delivery company with presence in major towns. Century Logistics executive director Edwin Yeap said Century Logistics’ plan to offer last-mile delivery services is on track, as the group has obtained a three-year licence from the Malaysian Communications and Multimedia Commission that would enable the group to offer courier services. - StarBiz


O&G-related stocks likely to take a hit: The oil price slump and unexciting developments in the oil and gas (O&G) sector have taken a toll on the market as well as the industry players. With analysts divided on the direction of crude in the second half of the year, counters related to upstream O&G players are expected to be significantly affected, moving forward. - StarBiz


National carmakers shift to top gear for smoother drive: Malaysia’s car industry is set for a smoother drive with both national carmakers, Proton Holdings Bhd and Perusahaan Otomobil Kedua Sdn Bhd (Perodua), shifting to top gear to become more robust and competitive. - Bernama

Breakfast Briefing