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World markets themes for the week ahead

LONDON: Following are five big themes likely to dominate thinking of investors and traders in the coming week

The March 1 deadline that ends a 90-day U.S.-China trade truce arrives soon and hopes are high that some kind of trade deal -- reportedly being sketched out by the two sides -- is reached by then.(File pic shows Presidents Trump and Xi)

Malaysian palm oil price declines on weaker related oils, output concerns

KUALA LUMPUR: Malaysian palm oil futures reversed early gains on Friday to close in negative territory, tracking declines in soyoil on the U.S. Chicago Board of Trade.

The benchmark palm oil contract for May delivery on the Bursa Malaysia Derivatives Exchange was down 0.3 percent at 2,257 ringgit ($552.50) a tonne at the close.  Trading volumes stood at 32,041 lots of 25 tonnes each

S&P 500 posts highest close since November 8 on trade optimism

NEW YORK: The S&P 500 posted its highest closing level since Nov. 8 on Friday as investors clung to signs of progress in the ongoing trade talks between the United States and China.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 181.18 points, or 0.7 percent, to 26,031.81, the S&P 500 gained 17.79 points, or 0.64 percent, to 2,792.67 and the Nasdaq Composite added 67.84 points, or 0.91 percent, to 7,527.55.  All three indexes registered gains for the week, with both the Dow and Nasdaq posting a ninth week of increases.

Jury is out on banks

TWO local banks, namely, Public Bank Bhd (PBB) and AMMB Holdings Bhd have started the ball rolling this quarter, releasing results that look starkly different, at least at first glance.

Menara Public Bank in Jalan Ampang and Menara AmBank in Jalan Yap Kwan Seng.

A new challenge for the EPF

The provident fund would be challenged to declare steady dividends if it is restricted from putting more money overseas

Guided by Muhyiddin, Aiman aims to show he is no slouch

SEMENYIH: Despite facing some brickbats over his soft-spoken de­­meanour, Pakatan Harapan candidate Muhammad Aiman Zainali is steadily building up his confidence as a public orator.

 Muhammad Aiman Zainali (left) with Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin. -Starpic

Food

Delightful Oriental fareTreat Restaurant and Bar at Oakwood Hotel and Residence Kuala Lumpur is offering an Oriental Set Menu until Feb 28. This special

Delightful Oriental fareTreat:  Restaurant and Bar at Oakwood Hotel and Residence Kuala Lumpur is offering an Oriental Set Menu until Feb 28. This special promotion is available from 11am to 11pm daily

Flat property market seen for Penang

THE Penang property market is expected to remain flat yet resilient this year and could bottom out within the next two years.

Global Forex Market

AMID a short working week as markets closed in conjunction with Presidents’ Day, the dollar softened by 0.31% to 96.6 largely owing to improving trade sentiment after President Trump cited trade talks were “very productive”.

Junk-debt market’s gathering storm

LONDON: The slump in sub-investment grade debt at the end of 2018 is a more accurate portent of the market than the rally since then, investors say.