Brent crude was 0.11% lower to US$52.90 per barrel at 3.33pm.
Ringgit down 0.12% to 4.4257 versus the US dollar at 3.45pm.
Top foreign stories
China March factory activity grows fastest in nearly 5 years on building boom: Activity in China’s manufacturing sector unexpectedly expanded at the fastest pace in nearly 5 years in March, adding to evidence that the world’s second-largest economy has gained momentum early this year as construction booms. — Reuters
S&P Ratings sees widening risks for Asia-Pacific economies: S&P Global Ratings sees widening risks for Asia-Pacific economies despite a firm start in 2017, especially due to significant political developments in the region’s Big Three economies – China, Japan and China.
Gold to edge up in 2017 as risk-averse buying offsets oversupply: Gold prices will edge higher this year even in the face of a persistent surplus of physical metal, GFMS analysts at Thomson Reuters said on Friday, as jitters over the US and European political backdrop drive investors to bullion. Buying of gold as a haven from risk, plus a recovery in Indian buying, are likely to push prices to an average US$1,259 an ounce this year, up from US$1,248 an ounce last year. — Reuters
Chinese-backed Port City in Sri Lanka to attract US$13b in investment from 2018: A Chinese-backed real estate project near Sri Lanka’s main port is expected to attract US$13 billion worth of investment from next year, the developer said on Friday. The US$1.4 billion Port City project by China Communication Construction Company started late last year as part of Beijing’s ambitious plans to create a modern-day “Silk Road” across Asia. — Reuters
Thai Feb factory output unexpectedly falls 1.5%: Thailand’s industrial output declined for the first time in four months in February due to weaker production of autos, rubber, air-conditioners and petroleum products, suggesting a fragile economic recovery. The Industry Ministry said its manufacturing production index in February dropped 1.5% from a year earlier. A Reuters poll had forecast a rise of 0.55%. — Reuters
Top local stories
MRT Corp awards 31 packages worth RM30b for SSP line: Mass Rapid Transit Corporation Sdn Bhd (MRT Corp) has awarded 31 packages worth RM30bil to date for the Klang Valley MRT Sungai Buloh-Serdang-Putrajaya (SSP) line. — Bernama
Eversafe Rubber to raise RM17m from IPO: Eversafe Rubber Bhd plans to raise RM17.28mil from its listing on the ACE Market of Bursa Malaysia. The rubber products maker said in its prospectus it is offering for sale 48 million news shares at 36 sen each. — StarBiz
Globetronics says MACC remanded independent director: Globetronics Technology Bhd said the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) has remanded its independent non-executive director Datuk Syed Mohamad Syed Murtaza. The company said the remand was to facilitate and assist investigations being conducted by MACC. — StarBiz
AirAsia sets up low-cost carrier JV in Vietnam: AirAsia Bhd is expanding its operations in South-East Asia with the proposed low-cost carrier joint venture with Gumin Company Ltd and Hai Au Aviation Joint Stock Company. AirAsia will contribute 30% or RM58.2mil to the joint venture. — StarBiz
Najib urges Indian investors to use Malaysia as gateway to Asean: Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak on Friday invited more Indian investors to leverage on Malaysia’s strategic location to strengthen their presence in the Asean region and beyond. He said when the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership in concluded in the near future, Malaysia would be an ideal location for Indian investors to set up regional establishments or use the country as a launch pad to penetrate the Asean market. — Bernama
AirAsia, AirAsia X offer 3-day promotion: AirAsia and AirAsia X will offer a three-day promotional campaign, “#AirAsiaDanceToFly”, to all destinations, offering fares from as low as RM499 for one-way all-in fares. It is inclusive of taxes and fees. AirAsia X said the promotion was valid for booking from March 31 to April 2 and for travel from March 31 to Sept 30. — Bernama
February producer price index rises 10.8%: Malaysia’s producer price index (PPI) for February rose by 10.8% to 110.4 from 99.6 a year earlier, the Statistics Department said. It said the highest increase was recorded by the mining, followed by agriculture, forestry and fishing, manufacturing and electricity and gas supply indices. — Bernama
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