The Week That Was

  • Business
  • Friday, 07 Aug 2020

CGS-CIMB predicted exports to have improved by 6% month-on-month and 22% year-on-year in July to 1.82 million tonnes.

Crank up the volume

NEVER has Bursa Malaysia seen so much trading activity.

The market saw more than 13 billion shares being traded for the first time on Monday, but the record was shattered on Tuesday as investors bought and sold 15.6 billion shares worth more than RM10bil.

On Wednesday, a total of 15.5 billion shares valued at RM8.2bil changed hands.

Shares in glove makers soared to new highs as investors’ infatuation continued after Hartalega Holdings Bhd’s record quarterly results on Tuesday, boosted by robust Covid-19 pandemic driven demand.

Meanwhile, the buying frenzy is spreading into the small-cap space, driven by wild bets on selected companies.

Buyer beware!

Unisem beats estimates on 5G

SHARES in Unisem Bhd surged after the company delivered on Monday an impressive set of results for the second quarter ended June 30.

The company, which has semiconductor test and assembly facilities in Ipoh, Perak and Chengdu in China, said strong demand for new microphone sensors and radio-frequency module components used in 5G smartphones and network infrastructure boosted its quarterly earnings.

According to latest industry reports, demand for 5G-enabled mobile devices is growing.

Global smartphone shipments fell 24% in the second quarter largely due to lockdowns in the United States, Europe and India, according to Counterpoint Research.

But in China, where lockdowns to contain the virus had started to ease much earlier in May, there was a surge in demand for 5G smartphones.

Counterpoint estimated that in the second quarter, about one in every three smartphones sold in China was a 5G device.

Another firm, Digitimes Research, estimated shipments of 5G phones in the China market alone will total 170 million units in 2020.

Worldwide, total 5G unit shipment is projected at 250 million units, or over 20% of the global smartphone shipment.

Gold hits record US$2,000

THE price of spot gold in the international market has finally surpassed its 2011 peak of $1,923.70 an ounce after it breached US$2,000 on Tuesday.

The bullion has soared roughly 30% in 2020, rising faster than the high-flying, technology-laden Nasdaq Composite’s 20% advance made over the same period.

But even as gold hits new highs, there are plenty of forecasts for further and more substantial gains.

Goldman Sachs Group Inc says gold may climb to US$2,300, as investors are “in search of a new reserve currency, ” while RBC Capital Markets puts the odds of a rally to US$3,000 at 40%.

The US dollar, which stands 9% below its high of the year, had notched its worst monthly performance in a decade in July.

Analysts said a key driver in gold demand is the uncertainty surrounding the Covid-19 pandemic.

While more and more people continue to chase up riskier bets in the stock market, the precious metal has always been a safe-haven asset for risk-averse investors.

Holdings in both gold and silver exchange-traded funds have risen to records in the past week, as concerns about the fallout from the pandemic fuels demand for havens.

Bullish outlook lifts CPO prices

LOWER inventory and rising exports are helping to boost crude palm oil (CPO) prices.

The benchmark CPO futures contract on Bursa Derivatives was last traded at RM2,715 a tonne on Wednesday.

CGS-CIMB Research said the average CPO price grew 4.5% in July to RM2,519 per tonne due to the stronger-than-expected palm oil exports, which are expected to offset incremental supply.

This, coupled with the suspension of the export tax for CPO in Malaysia from June till the end of the year, improved the competitiveness of Malaysian palm oil against Indonesia.

CGS-CIMB predicted exports to have improved by 6% month-on-month and 22% year-on-year in July to 1.82 million tonnes.

This would also rank as the strongest exports since August 2016. Official figures will be released on Monday.

The upside of the CPO price could be capped, based on an estimate that at the crude oil price of US$42 a barrel, for B30 to be viable based on current funding availability, the CPO price would need to average at around RM2,255 per tonne in the second half of 2020.

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