MarketWrap: Investors sold sterling and stocks on Monday, seeking shelter in gold and the Japanese yen as uncertainty over Britain's departure from the European Union and the policies of US President-elect Donald Trump curbed appetite for risky assets. US markets were closed for the Martin Luther King Day holiday, crimping market activity and potentially exacerbating price moves. - Reuters
*The ringgit lost 0.02% to 4.4675 per US$
*It was 0.23% lower at 4.7379 per euro
*Down 0.08% to 5.3813 per pound sterling
*Down 0.05% to 3.1246 per Singapore dollar
*0.11% lower to 3.3366 per Aussie
*0.02% lower at 3.9125 per 100 yen
Oil prices settled up on Monday, as Saudi Arabia's commitments to reducing production offset a report forecasting US output would again rise this year. Benchmark Brent crude oil LCOc1 was up 41 cents a barrel, or 0.7%, at US$55.86. - Reuters
Top foreign stories
Singapore’s MAS warns of ‘disastrous’ effect of trade conflicts: The global economy will face “disastrous consequences” if US protectionist measures proposed by incoming President Donald Trump prompt trade wars, says Monetary Authority of Singapore managing director Ravi Menon. - Bloomberg
Trump threatens German carmakers with 35% US import tariff: US President-elect Donald Trump warned German car companies he would impose a border tax of 35% on vehicles imported to the US market. In an interview with German newspaper Bild, published on Monday, Trump criticised German carmakers such as BMW, Daimler and Volkswagen for failing to produce more cars on US soil. - Reuters
IMF boosts US growth forecasts on Trump spending, tax plans: The International Monetary Fund on Monday said the US economy would grow faster than previously expected in 2017 and 2018 based on the incoming Trump administration's tax and spending plans. Updating its World Economic Outlook, the IMF forecast overall global growth at 3.4% for 2017 and 3.6% for 2018, unchanged from October. - Reuters
Blackrock: Deutsche Boerse-LSE merger make markets healthier: Blackrock, the second-largest shareholder in both Deutsche Boerse and London Stock Exchange Group, publicly voiced its support for the US$28 billion merger of the two European exchanges as key regulatory decisions on the tie-up loom. - Reuters
Top local stories
Banks back in vogue: Although interest rates are not likely to go up any- time soon in Malaysia, it has not stopped some form of renewed enthusiasm for the banking sector. The Kuala Lumpur Finance Index is up more than 2% since Nov 8 when Donald Trump was elected as the new president of the United States. - StarBiz
Higher commodity prices expected this year: Malaysia’s commodities, particularly palm oil, are expected to enjoy higher prices in 2017, with the increase in export revenue set to reach up to 8%.
Plantation Industries and Commodities Minister Datuk Seri Mah Siew Keong said the average price of crude palm oil (CPO) for this year would range between RM2,700 and RM2,800 per tonne, slightly higher than the average RM2,653 last year. - StarBiz
Mudajaya unit to take RM98mil earnings hit: Mudajaya Corp Bhd, a subsidiary of MUDAJAYA GROUP BHD, will take an RM98.35mil hit on its earnings in the financial year ended Dec 31, 2016 arising from a decision on its arbitration case. - StarBiz
Franklin Templeton sees opportunities in Malaysia: Franklin Templeton Investments is looking at increasing its exposure to Malaysian equities as the weak ringgit has made country an inexpensive market for foreign investors. - StarBiz
Felda seeks to raise cash via Maybank share sale: The Federal Land Development Authority (Felda) is seeking to sell about RM280mil worth of shares in MALAYAN BANKING BHD (Maybank), paring down its stake in the nation’s biggest bank weeks after the government agency said it would acquire a substantial stake in an Indonesian planter. - StarBiz
MIDF: Still early to say if foreigners making a comeback: It’s early days yet for foreign investors making a comeback to Bursa Malaysia, says MIDF Research. Data from the stock exchange showed foreign investors sold down RM92.9mil worth of stocks on Monday. - StarBiz
HIL buys firms controlled by chairman’s family for RM71mil: HIL Industries Bhd is buying two property companies controlled by the family of its chairman for RM71mil. The companies come with approved projects in Selangor estimated to have a combined gross development value of RM375.2mil. - StarBiz
Auto business seen losing RM350m: The local automotive industry is expected to suffer a net loss of RM350mil in 2016, versus a net profit of RM1.2bil a year earlier,due to weaker sales, poor consumer sentiment and stringent loan approval rates. Due to the lower sales volume, the sector’s revenue fell 13.8% in 2016, said CIMB Research in a report. - StarBiz
CRIC confident about HSR win: China Railway International Corp Ltd (CRIC) has expressed confidence that the Kuala Lumpur-Singapore high-speed rail project will be awarded to the Chinese consortium that is bidding for it, given Beijing’s strong track record and engineering talents. - Edge FD
KIP REIT eyes five more buys: KIP real estate investment trust (REIT) - slated for a Main Market listing on Feb 6 - said it has five more acquisitions in the pipeline, after its initial acquisition of five KiP Marts and one KiP Mall.
Malaysia raises CPO export tax to 7.5%: Malaysia will raise its crude palm oil (CPO) export tax to 7.5% in February, up from 7% in January, according to a circular on the Malaysian Palm Oil Board website on Monday. - Reuters
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