Brent crude was 0.30% higher US$56.83 per barrel 2.38pm.
Ringgit up 0.04% to 4.4555 versus the US dollar at 2.47pm.
Top foreign stories
China home price growth cools for 4th straight month as govt curbs bite: China’s home price growth slowed for the fourth straight month as demand cooled further in its biggest cities, a welcome sign for policymakers as they seek to defuse bubbles in the world’s second-largest economy amid an explosive growth in debt. — Reuters
Goldman says global crude stocks likely to keep falling: Goldman Sachs expects global crude oil inventories to keep falling due to production cuts and strong growth in demand, although stocks are likely to rise in the United States. — Reuters
Australia’s central bank sees danger in high household debt: The head of Australia’s central bank gave the clearest signal yet on Wednesday that further cuts in interest rates would not be in the national interest as the danger of a debt-fuelled boom and bust was just too severe. The Reserve Bank of Australia (RBA) has kept interest rates at a record low 1.50% since last easing in August, and governor Philip Lowe hopes the current setting will be enough to deliver balanced economic growth. — Reuters
BoJ’s Kuroda: Chance of more rate cuts small for now, growth picking up: Bank of Japan (BoJ) governor Haruhiko Kuroda said on Wednesday the chance the central bank will deepen negative interest rates is low for now, backing market expectations that no additional monetary easing is forthcoming in the near future. — Reuters
Top local stories
TM posts net profit of RM154m: Telekom Malaysia Bhd posted a net profit of RM154.3mil in the fourth quarter on a higher revenue of RM3.24bil versus RM3.18bil a year earlier. It said the fourth-quarter performance was impacted by higher unrealised foreign exchange loss, increased depreciation overall, including accelerated depreciation for WiMAX assets. TM expects 2017 to be a “promising year ahead” despite the current challenging times. — StarBiz
AFG chalks up Q3 earnings of RM130m: Alliance Financial Group Bhd’s third-quarter earnings were down 4.3% to RM129.68mil on higher allowance for losses on loans, advances and financing, and other receivables. Its revenue rose 4.8% to RM378.64mil, while earnings per share were 8.5 sen compared with 8.9 sen previously. — StarBiz
MBSB posts RM201.4mil net profit in FY16: Malaysia Building Society Bhd (MBSB) posted a net profit of RM45.6mil for the fourth quarter, reversing a net loss of RM15.8mil a year earlier, on lower allowances for impairment losses on loans, advances and financing and higher net operating income. Revenue came in lower at RM819.4mil from RM825.68mil previously. For the full 2016 financial year, MBSB posted a net profit of RM201.4mil, The board recommended a single-tier final dividend of 3 sen per share for the year. — StarBiz
January inflation climbs on higher petrol price, exceeds forecast: The consumer price index (CPI) for January 2017 rose 3.2% from a year earlier, mainly due to the increase in petrol prices and food, exceeding a Bloomberg survey forecast for a 2.7% rise. Versus December 2016, the inflation rate was up 1.1%. — StarBiz
UniFi, Streamyx users can continue to access iflix till year-end: iflix and Telekom Malaysia Bhd (TM) say eligible UniFi and Streamyx customers can continue to access the former’s service till the year-end. Both new and existing UniFi and Streamyx 4Mbps and 8Mbps subscribers are entitled to unlimited access to iflix from now till Dec 31, 2017, a joint statement from iflix and TM said. — Bernama