Brent Crude was down 0.71% to US$48.70 per barrel at 2.49pm.
Ringgit down 0.26% to 4.2815 versus the US dollar at 3.20pm.
Top foreign stories
Japan factory output bounces, easing pressure on BoJ: Japan’s factory output unexpectedly rebounded in September, data showed on Thursday, tempering expectations the Bank of Japan (BoJ) will unleash more stimulus after a string of weak data from the world’s number three economy. — AFP
BoJ seen holding fire as output rebound offers some relief: The Bank of Japan (BoJ) is expected to hold monetary policy steady on Friday even while diluting its rosy inflation forecasts, sources say, clinging to the hope a tightening job market will underpin consumption and help the economy emerge from a soft patch. — Reuters
Inventories seen weighing on US third-quarter growth: US economic growth likely braked sharply in the third quarter as businesses cut back on restocking warehouses to work off an inventory glut, but solid domestic demand could encourage the Federal Reserve to raise interest rates in December. — Reuters
Samsung unveils US$10b share buyback with Q3 profit surge: South Korea’s Samsung Electronics pulled out of an extended earnings dive on Thursday, reporting a nearly 30% surge in third-quarter net profit and announcing a US$10 billion share buyback. — AFP
Sony swings to big first-half profit on videogames, weak yen: Sony on Thursday posted a six-month net profit of almost US$1 billion, crediting its PlayStation videogame unit and a weak yen for a big improvement in its finances as the company moves past years of losses. — AFP
Deutsche Bank to suspend dividends for two years: Germany’s Deutsche Bank said on Wednesday it will not pay dividends in 2015 and 2016 as it seeks to cut costs as part of a major business and management restructuring. - AFP
China, Germany sign deal for Chinese airlines to buy 30 A330 Airbus jets: China and Germany signed a deal on Thursday that will see Chinese airlines buy 30 A330 planes manufactured by Airbus Group SE. The order, valued at 17 billion euros (US$18.57 billion), was announced after Germany’s Chancellor Angela Merkel met China’s Premier Li Keqiang in Beijing. — Reuters
Pfizer in merger talks with Botox-maker Allergan: Pharmaceutical giant Pfizer Inc recently approached Botox-maker Allergan Plc to discuss what could be the biggest takeover deal this year, the Wall Street Journal said on Wednesday, citing people familiar with the matter. — Reuters
Top local stories
Japan’s MUFG substantial shareholder in Public Bank: Mitsubishi UFJ Financial Group, Inc (MUFG) has emerged as a substantial shareholder in Public Bank with an indirect stake of 5.002%. MUFG’s deemed interest in the bank is via its stakes in its units and also a 15% stake in Morgan Stanley Group. — StarBiz
EPF eyes private equity space, co-investments: The Employees Provident Fund will be taking “small steps” in the private equity space while cautiously venturing into co-investments with its partners. The EPF invests about half its assets under management in fixed income, 40% in equities, 2% in private equity and 8% in other alternatives such as real estate and infrastructure. — StarBiz
Salcon JV to generate RM4mil-RM5mil from new contracts: Salcon Bhd’s joint-venture entity, Volksbahn Technologies Sdn Bhd (VBT), expects to generate RM4mil to RM5mil per year from two new contracts it signed recently. The water and wastewater infrastructure specialist confirmed in its Bursa Malaysia filing that VBT has signed two 10-year contracts with U-Mobile Sdn Bhd and Celcom Networks Sdn Bhd for mobile site rental for shared infrastructure. - StarBiz
Investors advised to take profit on Magni-Tech: Kenanga Investment Bank Research has recommended investors to take profit on Magni-Tech Industries as the share price is now fully valued. — StarBiz