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PublicInvest Research

Author: PublicInvest   |   Latest post: Fri, 7 May 2021, 9:38 AM

 

PublicInvest Research Headlines - 25 Mar 2021

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Economy

US: Durable goods orders decrease for first time since April. Orders for US durable goods unexpectedly declined in February for the first time in nearly a year, indicating a pause in the months-long manufacturing rebound. Bookings for durable goods decreased 1.1% from the prior month, the first drop since April, after an upwardly revised 3.5% gain in January, Commerce Department figures showed. Core capital goods orders, a category that excludes aircraft and military hardware and is seen as a barometer of business investment, dropped 0.8% after an upwardly revised 0.6% gain. The median estimates in a Bloomberg survey of economists called for 0.5% increases in both total durables orders and core capital goods bookings. The figures likely represent a temporary softening in the rebound seen across the nation’s factories since the pandemic upended production and demand last year. (Bloomberg)

EU: Consumer confidence at 13-month high. Euro area consumer confidence rose faster than expected in March to its highest level in over a year, preliminary survey data from the European Commission showed. The flash consumer confidence index climbed to -10.8 from - 14.8 in February. Economists had expected an improvement to -14.5. The latest reading for Eurozone was the strongest since February 2020, when it was -6.4. The consumer confidence index for the EU rose to -12.1 from -15.7, marking the strongest reading since March 2020. Both indicators are approaching their long-term averages of - 11.1 and -10.6, respectively, the commission said. (RTT)

EU: Private sector returns to growth in March. The euro area private sector returned to growth in March underpinned by a record expansion in manufacturing as global demand continued to revive from the pandemic, survey results from IHS Markit showed. The composite output index rose to an eight-month high of 52.5 in March from 48.8 in February. The reading was forecast to climb to 49.1. The score exceeded the neutral level of 50.0 for the first time since last September, suggesting expansion in the private sector. Divergent trends were seen by sector. Manufacturing output growth improved sharply to a record high, while the service sector was again hit by virus-related restrictions. The manufacturing Purchasing Managers' Index reached a record 62.4 from 57.9 in the prior month. The score was well above forecast of 57.7. (RTT)

EU: German private sector growth at 37-month high. Germany's private sector growth accelerated in March driven by a record expansion in manufacturing, flash data from IHS Markit showed. The flash composite output index rose to a 37-month high of 56.8 from 51.1 in February. The reading was well above economists' forecast of 51.6. The result was driven by improved performances across both manufacturing and services. The services PMI came in at 50.8 versus 45.7 in the prior month. The expected reading was 46.2. The manufacturing PMI advanced to 66.6 from 60.7 in the previous month and well above forecast of 60.8. The latest score was the highest since April 1996. The survey hinted at the prospect of a better-than expected economic performance in 1Q, IHS Markit said. (RTT)

UK: Inflation eases unexpectedly in February. UK consumer price inflation eased unexpectedly in February driven by falling prices of clothing, second-hand cars and games, data from the Office for National Statistics revealed. Consumer price inflation eased to 0.4% from 0.7% in January. The rate was forecast to rise to 0.8%. MoM, consumer prices edged up 0.1%, in contrast to January's 0.2% fall. This was weaker than the economists' forecast of 0.5%. Clothing and footwear prices dropped 1.5% MoM due to increased discounting. Downward contributions to inflation also came from traditional toys and computer games. Excluding energy, food, alcoholic beverages and tobacco, core inflation eased to 0.9% in February from 1.4% in January. (RTT)

UK: Private sector recovers on services activity. The UK private sector returned to the expansion territory in March with the service sector performance outpacing the manufacturing output growth, flash survey data from IHS Markit and the Chartered Institute of Procurement & Supply showed. The composite output index rose to 56.6 from 49.6 in the previous month. Economists had forecast the index to rise moderately to 51.1. The speed of recovery was the fastest since August 2020. For the first time since the start of the pandemic, service sector activity outpaced manufacturing production growth. The services PMI surged to 56.8 from 49.5 in February. The expected level was 51.0. The manufacturing PMI improved to 57.9 from 55.1 in the previous month. The score was forecast to climb to 55.0.. (RTT)

Japan: Manufacturing PMI climbs to 52.0 in February – Jibun. The manufacturing sector in Japan continued to expand in March, and at a slightly faster pace, the latest survey from Jibun Bank showed with a manufacturing PMI score of 52.0. That is up from 51.4 in February. Output growth softened slightly, although new orders expanded at their fastest pace since October 2018. But job shedding persisted and sentiment eased to a nine-month low. Japan's services PMI came in at 46.5, up from 45.8 in February, while the composite index had a score of 48.3 - up from 48.2 in the previous month. (RTT)

Thailand: Central bank leaves key rate unchanged, trims 2021 growth forecast. Thailand's central bank left its key interest rate unchanged at a record low but slightly lowered its 2021 economic growth outlook as the tourism-reliant country recovers slowly from the Covid-19 pandemic. Thailand’s economy continues to rebound but the risks remain high, the Bank of Thailand (BoT), adding the economy still needs support from low borrowing rates and that monetary policy would remain accommodative. The BoT's monetary policy committee voted unanimously to keep the one-day repurchase rate steady at a record low of 0.50% for a seventh straight meeting. The BoT trimmed its 2021 growth forecast as it cut its projected tourist figures for this year, and as a second wave of coronavirus infections in December hampered economic activity. (Reuters)

Markets

Tenaga ( Outperform, TP: RM12.42): To discuss with interest groups for Nenggiri hydroelectric dam. Tenaga Nasional will hold discussions with the interest groups on the construction of the Nengiri hydroelectric dam in Gua Musang, Kelantan which was objected to by more than 3,000 Orang Asli in the area. It will provide detailed information on the project to the interest groups including the Human Rights Commission of Malaysia and the Department of Orang Asli Development. (Bernama)

Euro Holdings: Proposes second bonus issue in less than six months. Euro Holdings has proposed a bonus issue of up to 3.21bn shares, on the basis of four bonus shares for every one share held. This marks the office furniture maker’s second bonus issue in less than six months. The entitlement date for the latest bonus issue will be announced later. (The Edge)

Mah Sing: Homebuyers' confidence improving. Mah Sing believes the ongoing National Covid-19 Immunisation Programme and RM20bn Strategic Programme to Empower the People and Economy (PEMERKASA) have instilled more confidence among homebuyers. The improved sentiment could be observed through the positive responses to its recent project launches. (Bernama)

Eco World Development: Issues RM180m sukuk. Eco World Development (EcoWorld) has established a sukuk wakalah programme of RM500m in nominal value. It issued RM180m worth of sukuk wakalah with a tenure of five years under the programme. Proceeds from the sukuk issuance will be used for repayment of several identified existing borrowings and working capital requirements. (The Edge)

Bintai Kinden: Inks third cold chain box supply deal. Bintai Kinden Corp has signed a third distribution agreement with Korean cold chain equipment manufacturer firm SLAB Asia Co Ltd to supply its cold chain boxes for the storage and distribution of Covid-19 vaccines in Indonesia. It was appointed the exclusive distributor for the cold chain boxes in Indonesia after it signed a distribution agreement dated March 15. (The Edge)

Velesto: Sinks into the red in 4Q with RM493m net loss on impairment. Velesto Energy sank into the red in the 4QFY20, reporting a net loss of RM493.29m from a net profit of RM10.2m a year earlier. This was largely impacted by an impairment loss of RM460.6m for the rig assets, which were impacted by the volatility in oil prices and global economy compounded by the Covid-19 pandemic. (The Edge)

Boustead Plantations: Returns to black with RM43m net profit. Boustead Plantations marked a successful turnaround with a net profit of RM42.95m for the FY20 from a net loss of RM144m recorded in FY19. Its revenue increased 32.2% to RM763.05m. This was achieved on the back of better palm product selling prices. (Business Times)

PRG: Sinks back into the red on impairment losses. PRG Holdings posted a net loss of RM28.06m for its 4QFY20 with a net loss of RM28.06m, compared to a net profit of RM19.41m in 3QFY20. This was mainly due to impairment losses on goodwill and other assets recognised in the current quarter. Quarterly revenue fell 68.15% to RM35.69m. No dividend was declared. (The Edge)

Market Update

The FBM KLCI might open lower today after global equities dipped and the dollar hovered near four-month highs on Wednesday as concerns about extended economic lockdowns in Europe and the potential for higher taxes in the United States weighed on investor sentiment. European shares closed near two-week lows, while oil prices surged after steep losses on Tuesday after one of the world’s largest container ships ran aground in the Suez Canal. Authorities were still trying to clear the ship from the vital shipping lane on Wednesday afternoon. The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 3.09 points, or 0.01%, to 32,420.06. The S&P 500 lost 21.38 points, or 0.55%, to 3,889.14 and the Nasdaq Composite dropped 265.81 points, or 2.01%, to 12,961.89. In Europe, the pan European STOXX 600 index ended flat.

Back home, the FBM KLCI snapped its three-day losing streak as investors jumped in to scoop up battered stocks and sent the benchmark index solidly above the key 1,600 level. At 5pm, the FBM KLCI was up 7.11 points or 0.45% to 1,602.24. Across the region, Japan's Nikkei 225 skid 2.04% while South Korea's Kospi fell 0.28%. In China, Hong Kong’s Hang Seng plunged 2.03% while the Shanghai Stock Exchange Composite Index closed down 1.3%

Source: PublicInvest Research - 25 Mar 2021

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