November 21, 2008 Daily Highlights
SHARE prices on Bursa Malaysia ended lower yesterday with the key index declining 1.40 per cent as sentiment was weighed down by the sharp overnight fall on Wall Street amid fears of a poorer global economic outlook, dealers said.Plantation and finance stocks were among the major losers, they said.At the close, the benchmark Kuala Lumpur Composite Index (KLCI) fell 12.33 points to 865.32. It had opened by 9.80 points lower at 867.85 in the morning.
Asian stocks fell for the fifth day after oil plunged below $50, Taiwan and Singapore forecast further contractions, and U.S. unemployment claims approached a 26-year high as the global slowdown deepens. Woodside Petroleum Ltd., Australia’s No. 2 oil producer, slumped 7.2 percent as crude declined to its lowest since May 2005. Japan’s Nikkei 225 Stock Average lost 6.9 percent to 7,703.04. Isuzu Motors Ltd. and Mazda
Motor Corp. dropped after saying they will slash at least 2,700 temporary jobs in Japan as the companies reduce output on falling demand. South Korea’s Kospi index slid 6.7 percent, completing its first eight-day losing streak since March 2003, as investors drained funds from emerging markets. KB Financial Group Inc. led declines, while the won slumped to a decade-low.
U.S. stocks slid and the Standard & Poor’s 500 Index plunged to its lowest level in 11 years after economic reports depicted a deepening recession and lawmakers postponed a vote on a plan to salvage the auto industry. The S&P 500 extended its 2008 tumble to 49 percent, poised for the worst annual decline in its 80-year history. The S&P 500 slid 6.7 percent to 752.44, under the low of 776.76 reached during the bear market in 2002. The Dow Jones Industrial Average sank 444.99 points, or 5.6 percent, to 7,552.29.
Mahathir criticises Jomo’s appointment to UN task force
Dr Mahathir Mohamad has criticised the move by the United Nations (UN) to appoint Dr Jomo Kwame Sundaram, a known critic of the government of Malaysia and its policies, to a high-level task force to examine possible reforms of the global financial system.”There is a political element there (to the appointment of Jomo to the panel). They picked a person who is against the government as their expert.
They already have an agenda. He is going to advise them, and he is going to be wrong, because he has never done anything positive. “He’s only a critic, and to be a critic is always easy,” Dr Mahathir said after officiating at the 4th International Convention on Takaful and Re-takaful in Kuala Lumpur yesterday.
Penang cautious on 2009 investment outlook
AFTER comfortably beating its investment targets this year, Penang expects smaller investments as multinationals will be cautious about spending because of the global economic slowdown.Although Penang is set to exceed its initial target of RM3.8 billion this year with RM8 billion, the outlook for 2009 remains unclear. Investin-Penang Bhd (investPenang) executive committee chairman Datuk Lee Kah Choon yesterday said future investments can be expected for worldwide activities in research and development, design and shared services.”Future trends for investments will no longer be focused on machinery but more towards group operations for the world,” he told reporters in Penang on the fringes of a trade seminar on the development of logistics and transport in Malaysia.”The encouraging feedback we have received so far is from the medical devices sector,” he added, “which appears to be recession-proof.”
‘Exports to China, India will shield Malaysian economy’
MALAYSIA’S economy is insulated from the global economic slowdown due to strong exports to China and India, says Second Finance Minister Tan Sri Nor Mohamed Yakcop.He said even though exports to the US and Europe are weakening, exports to China and India on the other hand are strong and both countries are expected to register a gross domestic product growth (GDP) of between 7 and 9 per cent.”Thus, Malaysia is confident of achieving a 3.5 per cent GDP growth next year though economies of Asian countries like Japan, Hong Kong and Singapore are already facing recession,” Nor Mohamed told reporters in Selangor yesterday after launching the Young Entrepreneurs Association of Malaysia Forum.Nor Mohamed was representing Deputy Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak.The situation is already in dire state in the US which is badly affected with the unemployment rate expected to rise to 8 per cent from 6.5 per cent now.
Wooing Indian firms to list on Bursa
Malaysia wants to attract more Indian bond issues, cross-border listings and fund management operations to the country, Securities Commission (SC) chairman Datuk Seri Zarinah Anwar says.The regulator is also in talks with potential fund management firms here to operate in Malaysia, after giving an Islamic fund
management licence to India’s Reliance Capital Asset Management this week.Reliance Capital is the biggest fund management firm in India.”There are vast opportunities between the two countries in the fund management side. Both have very high savings rate and we can together explore how to facilitate those monies into the capital market,” Zarinah told Malaysian reporters here yesterday. Together with the Securities and Exchange Board of India, the SC is organising a one-day capital market forum here, aimed at raising awareness of the regulatory structures and investment opportunities in both capital markets.
U.S. Congress Puts Off Automaker Rescue to Next Month
Democratic U.S. congressional leaders put off action on automaker loans until next month, saying company chief executives haven’t yet made a case for the help. General Motors Corp., Ford Motor Co. and Chrysler LLC must submit viability plans Dec. 2 and Congress would meet the week of Dec. 8 to consider aid, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid said. Congressional leaders, not viewing bankruptcy as an option, must see accountability from automakers, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said. “Until they show us the plan, we cannot show them the money,” said Pelosi, a California Democrat.
Crude Oil Tumbles to Lowest Since May 2005 as Consumption Drops
Crude oil fell to the lowest since May 2005, trading almost $100 a barrel below its July record as demand drops amid a global recession. Oil is poised to drop 15 percent this week, the worst performance since Oct. 10 as the world economic crisis reduced demand growth to its weakest in 23 years. Crude oil for January delivery fell as much as 87 cents, or 1.8 percent, to $48.55 a barrel, and traded at $49.21 at 8:50 a.m.
Singapore time on the New York Mercantile Exchange.
Japan Economy Headed for Longest Slump in Decade, Analysts Say
Japan’s economy will probably shrink this year and next in the first back-to-back contractions since the onset of the banking crisis a decade ago, economists say. Gross domestic product will shrink 0.45 percent in the year ending March 2009 and 0.3 percent in the following year, according to the median estimate of 16 economists surveyed by Bloomberg News. Analysts slashed their estimates after a report this week showed the economy fell into a recession last quarter.
Singapore Cuts 2008 GDP Forecast; Economy May Shrink in 2009
Singapore lowered its growth forecast for a fourth time this year and said the economy may contract in 2009, adding pressure on policy makers to implement more measures to avoid a prolonged slowdown.The Southeast Asian nation will expand 2.5 percent in 2008, lower than an October forecast for 3 percent growth and less than a third of 2007’s pace, the trade ministry said in a statement today. The economy, already in
recession, may shrink by as much as 1 percent next year, the first time since 2001.
U.S. Economy: Jobless Claims Near Highest Since 1982
The number of Americans filing for unemployment benefits approached a 26-year high, and a gauge of the economy’s future performance dropped, sending yields on benchmark Treasuries to record lows. Initial jobless claims climbed to a higher-thanforecast 542,000 in the week ended Nov. 15, the Labor Department said today in Washington. The Conference Board’s index of leading economic indicators declined 0.8 percent, and a measure of manufacturing in the Philadelphia region fell to an 18-year low. The U.S. stock market’s benchmark index headed for its biggest annual decline on record, and yields on two-, five- and 30-year Treasuries posted historic lows as confidence in the economic outlook evaporated. The turmoil may intensify
pressure on the Federal Reserve and incoming President Barack Obama’s administration to take fresh steps to shore up the economy.
Entry filed under: Business, Finance, Stock Market. Tags: asian, bursa malaysia, economy highlights, Finance, Isuzu Motors Ltd, KLCI, Kuala Lumpur Composite Index, MARKET REVIEW, Mazda Motor Corp, nikkei, plantation, singapore, Taiwan, Wall Street.