Ahad, 22 September 2013

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The Star Online: Business

Wong Engineering under pressure after Friday surge


KUALA LUMPUR: Shares of loss-making Wong Engineering Corp Bhd came under some selling pressure early Monday, falling to a low of 58.5 sen, after last Friday's price surge.

At 9.24am, it was down 3.5 sen to 58.5 sen. There were 1.71 million shares done.

The FBM KLCI fell 6.96 points to 1,794.87. Turnover was 288.49 million shares valued at RM125.77mil. There were 133 gainers, 193 losers and 160 counters unchanged.

Last Friday, its share price closed 20.5 sen up, or a 49.3% gain, to 62 sen amidst volatile and heavy trading. It hit an intra-day high of 68.5 sen and a low of 41 sen.

The price surge saw it being issued with an unusual market activity query by Bursa Malaysia Securities. Trading was halted at 4.40pm.

Wong Engineering later announced it was negotiating with a third party for the supply of mechanical and industrial products.

It also added it would make immediate announcements upon final confirmation. Besides that, it said it was unaware of any other developments.

However, the company later announced that in the third quarter ended July 31, 2013, it posted net losses of RM601,000 compared with net loss of RM687,000 a year ago.

For the nine months, it recorded losses of RM1.82mil from RM1.05mil in the previous corresponding period.

Malaysia’s blue chips start week in the red


KUALA LUMPUR: Malaysia's key FBM KLCI started the week in the red on Monday on mild profit taking on key stocks like UMW, Tenaga, Sime Darby and CIMB.

At 9am, the KLCI was down 6.43 points to 1,795.40. Turnover was 34.78 million shares valued at RM13.26mil. There were 54 gainers, 80 losers and 129 counters unchanged.

UMW lost 12 sen to RM12.78, Tenaga fell nine sen to RM8.95, Sime Darby and CIMB shed six sen each to RM9.46 and RM8.02.

Among the plantations, KL Kepong lost 12 sen to RM22.20 with 100 shares done and IOI Corp five sen to RM5.35.

CMSB was the top loser, down 21 sen to RM4.95 with 1,200 shares traded.

Wah Seong rose six sen to RM1.75 after CIMB Research upgraded the earnings outlook while Hibiscus-WA added five sen to RM1.44 and DRB-Hicom four sen to RM2.60.

Focal Aims continued to extend its gains, adding three sen to RM2.22, which is a whopping 82 sen above the takeover offer price of RM1.40 made by Eco World Development.

Shares slip ahead of China data, more Fed talk


SYDNEY: Asian markets got off to a lacklustre start on Monday ahead of more testing data from China, while the euro had only the briefest of lifts from Chancellor Angela Merkel's landslide victory in Germany's general election.

MSCI's broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan was a fraction lower following a pullback on Wall Street on Friday.

Markets in South Korea returned from holiday to play catch-up with the U.S. Federal Reserve's surprise decision to keep its stimulus program intact. Shares dipped 0.3 percent while the won was a whisker firmer at 1,077 per dollar .

Australia's main index lost 0.8 percent, while Japan's markets were closed for a holiday. The Hong Kong Exchange delayed the start of trading due to Typhoon Usagi.

In part, investors were wary ahead of readings on manufacturing activity for China and Europe.

Should the HSBC preliminary PMI for China show a rise from August's 50.1 it would add to evidence of stabilisation in the world's second biggest economy, and likely support markets across the region.

Dealers said markets were looking for a reading of around 50.9 for September and anything less would be a disappointment.

The euro rose around a quarter of a U.S. cent to an early high of $1.3555 on the news of Merkel's win, only to quickly fade to $1.3533. Against the yen, the common currency was steady at 134.40, having earlier touched 134.56.

That left the dollar index little changed at 80.387, not far from a seven-month trough of 80.060 plumbed last week.

While Merkel won by a landslide, her conservatives appeared just short of the votes needed to rule on their own.

That left open the possibility of a "grand coalition" with the centre-left Social Democrats (SPD), who came a distant second. In the past, establishing a coalition accord has taken between four and eight weeks.

"The formation of a grand coalition could be a positive outcome for the Eurozone," said Peter Dragicevich, a currency strategist at Commonwealth Bank of Australia.

"The SDP is in favour of further Eurozone integration. As such, a grand coalition may be more willing to work with the ECB and Eurozone governments to find a sustainable solution to the issues plaguing the Eurozone periphery.

He noted one of the SDP's 2013 election policy proposals was the creation of a European debt redemption fund funded by Eurozone bonds.


The Dow Jones industrial average finished Friday with a loss of 1.19 percent, while the S&P 500 Index eased 0.72 percent. MSCI's index of world shares ended Friday 0.6 percent lower, but still notched a third straight week of 2 percent-plus gains.

Some of Friday's dip was attributed to comments from St. Louis Federal Reserve Bank President James Bullard who said that a start to winding down the stimulus program was possible in October, depending on upcoming economic data.

That was a surprise to most analysts who had thought there would not be enough fresh economic news by the October 29-30 meeting to swing the Fed from its dovish course.

"We do not expect the economy to look much different in the coming months and, in fact, some of the data on housing could look softer," said Michelle Girard, chief economist at RBS.

He thought it more likely the taper would begin in either December or March next year.

"We think the hurdle for tightening in December is somewhat high, and thus believe that the time frame for tapering has most likely been pushed back all the way to March."

If it was March then the Fed could continue buying debt for much of 2014. That in turn would further push back the day when it might finally start raising interest rates.

Some clarity might come later on Monday since no less than three Fed officials are speaking, headlined by New York Fed President William Dudley. He is thought to be close to Chairman Ben Bernanke and to speak for the dovish majority of voting members.

Even the thought the Fed might start tapering in October jolted commodity markets, leaving gold down at $1,328.361 an ounce, from Thursday's peak of $1,374.54. Copper futures were off 0.6 percent.

Brent crude oil was 14 cents lower on Monday at $109.08 a barrel, while U.S. crude eased 16 cents to $104.59. - Reuters

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