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Yap Leng Kuen

Recent and archived articles by Yap Leng Kuen

20 May 2019 | 7:00 AM

Beware of downside risks to the ringgit

DESPITE some optimism on the direction of the ringgit, there are concerns over downside risks fuelled by, among other factors, flaring trade tensions and the weakening of the yuan.

Investor confidence is expected to gradually return but there are concerns on the movement of the yuan to which the local currency is strongly correlated.
13 May 2019 | 7:00 AM

Rate cuts are not enough to boost economic growth

With slowing world growth and an unstable trade and political environment, interest rate cuts are not enough to bolster economic growth.

Just within last week, the three central banks of Malaysia, New Zealand and the Philippines lowered rates as policy makers brace for slower growth, a fall in exports and rising uncertainties.
6 May 2019 | 7:00 AM

How long will US ‘transcient inflation’ last?

LOW US inflation that is considered transitory, may provide some relief to Asian markets already alert for any change in the US interest rate stance.

“Asian governments are well-prepared to manage the impact of the slowing global economy; some have the monetary space to cut rates, independent of the Fed’s rate path,’’ said Lee Heng Guie(pic), executive director, Socio Economic Research Centre.
29 Apr 2019 | 7:00 AM

Beware of frothy Asian and emerging markets

INVESTORS in Asian and emerging markets (EMs) that had rebounded strongly since the rout last year, may have to buckle up as the froth builds up in global equities.

The Fed could cut rates by the second half of 2019, but if the US economy strengthens into 2020, it could resume its rate hiking mode.  “Nobody likes this ‘elbow forecast’ (down, then up). It will cause turbulence in global financial markets,’’ said Dr Anthony Dass(pic), head of AmBank Research.
15 Apr 2019 | 7:00 AM

Tensions rise with endless tariffs

GLOBAL cooperation, crucial in times of weakening growth, has taken a step back with the threat of US$11bil worth of US retaliatory tariffs on European goods.

8 Apr 2019 | 7:00 AM

Is the Fed boxed in on providing stimulus?

Has the Federal Reserve painted itself into a corner by always having to prop up failing markets, especially through a flood of stimulus money called quantitative easing (QE)?

“I think we are set for QE forever; the Fed is boxed in. Long before the recession arrives, the Fed will likely cut rates and when the recession sets in , they will quickly engage in the next QE programme,’’ said Pong Teng Siew, the head of research of Inter-Pacific Securities.
1 Apr 2019 | 7:00 AM

Should recession warning signals cause alarm?

SHOULD we be alarmed with sliding economic data and a bond market warning that is considered a reliable sign of recession?

“Do we dare say that this time, it will be different?’’ said Pong Teng Siew(inset pic), head of research, Inter-Pacific Securities. “To dismiss this yield curve inversion outright seems arrogant to me.’’
26 Mar 2019 | 7:00 AM

Volatile times for emerging markets

THE Federal Reserve’s abrupt change to zero rate hikes for 2019 against a softer growth outlook, may not benefit emerging markets (EMs).

The Fed’s rate hike pause should lead to a weaker dollar but due to its yield advantage, the greenback may stay quite strong.
18 Mar 2019 | 7:00 AM

Warding off a potential bubble in China

Plain speaking - By Yap Leng Kuen
FEARS of another credit-filled bubble saw the world beating rally in Chinese markets drop with a sobering thud.

11 Mar 2019 | 7:00 AM

Fast slowing economic growth prompts further action

WITH deepening forecasts of slowing global growth, are there measures that can be taken to lift the situation?

“There may be a need to start pump priming the economies; fiscal deficit positions and ratings may need to be compromised,’’ said Anthony Dass, head of AmBank Research.