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Monday, June 29, 2015

Crude oil futures

commodity tradingCrude oil futures inched lower on Friday, as investors nervously eyed developments in Greece’s debt talks ahead of a looming repayment deadline.

Greece is due to repay €1.6 billion to the International Monetary Fund on June 30 but without a rescue package in place it is unclear if the payment can be met. If Greece misses the payment it risks going into default, which could trigger the country’s exit from the euro area.

Late on Friday, Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras said the Greek government rejected the latest reform measures proposed by the country's creditors and instead called a surprise referendum for July 5.

European finance ministers refused to extend Greece’s bailout beyond June 30, despite Greek requests to extend the program until after the referendum, deepening doubt over Greece’s future in the euro zone.

On the New York Mercantile Exchange, crude oil for delivery in August slumped 7 cents, or 0.12%, to end the week at $59.63 a barrel. Nymex prices hit a session low of $58.76 earlier, the weakest level since June 9.

U.S. oil futures pared losses after industry research group Baker Hughes (NYSE:BHI) said late Friday that the number of rigs drilling for oil in the U.S. fell by three last week to 628. The drop marks the 29th straight week of declines.

On the week, New York-traded oil futures declined 12 cents, or 0.57%, the second straight weekly loss, as worries over high domestic U.S. oil production, despite a declining rig count, weighed.

U.S. oil production has held around 9.6 million barrels a day in recent weeks, the highest level since the early 1970s.

Elsewhere, on the ICE Futures Exchange in London, Brent for August delivery hit a session low of $62.50, the weakest level since June 22, before closing at $63.26, up 6 cents, or 0.09%. For the week, London-traded Brent futures tacked on 69 cents, or 0.38%.

Meanwhile, the spread between the Brent and the WTI crude contracts stood at $3.63 a barrel by close of trade on Friday, compared to $3.05 in the preceding week.

                                                                                  - Investing.com

Gold jumps in Asia as investors eye Greek bank holiday, China rate cut

goldex tradingGold prices jumped in Asia on Monday as investors reacted to the prospect of financial turmoil in Greece spilling over to other countries and cuts in interest, deposit and cash reserve ratios by China at the weekend.

Greece's banks and stock exchange are expected to remain closed throughout the week following a recommendation from the country's Financial Stability Council late Sunday, according to some reports.

The move came just hours after the European Central Bank froze Emergency Liquidity Assistance (ELA) support to the country's banks at levels agreed on June 26 - a figure estimated to be around €90 billion.

"The Governing Council is closely monitoring the situation in financial markets and the potential implications for the monetary policy stance and for the balance of risks to price stability in the euro area," the ECB said in a statement. "The Governing Council is determined to use all the instruments available within its mandate."

At the weekend, Greece's parliament approved a move put forth by Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras for a national referendum that will decide the fate of the country's bailout negotiations on July 5.

The poll effectively ended stalled talks in Brussels and likely ensures that Greece will be unable to make a "bundled" €1.55 billion payment to the International Monetary Fund on Tuesday - the same day its current (extended) bailout program expires.

Ahead, Japan reports industrial production with a drop of 0.8% expected month-on-month in May, as well as retail sales, with a 2.3% gain seen in May year-on-year.

The U.S. Dollar Index, which measures the strength of the greenback versus a basket of six other major currencies, was up 0.83% to 96.40.

At the weekend, the People's Bank of China cut interest rates and its deposit rate to 4.85% and the deposit rate to 2% respectively from Sunday.

The PBoC also announced that it will cut the reserve requirement ratios (RRR) by 50 basis points for commercial banks serving rural areas, agriculture and small businesses.

The PBoC has now cut interest rates four times since November and this year also reduced the amount of cash banks must keep in reserve three times, as well as using other measures to inject liquidity into the market.

The Asian nation is the world’s largest copper consumer, accounting for almost 40% of world consumption last year, and a top importer of gold.

On the Comex division of the New York Mercantile Exchange, gold futures for August delivery rose 0.92% to $1,184.00 a troy ounce,.

Also on the Comex, silver futures for September delivery soared 1.14% to $15.948 a troy ounce.

Elsewhere in metals trading, copper for September delivery fell 0.16% to $2.631 a pound.

Last week, Gold fell to a three-week low on Friday before reversing losses as investors continued to monitor developments surrounding talks between Greece and its international creditors, amid mounting fears over a potential debt default.

European finance ministers refused to extend Greece’s bailout beyond June 30, despite Greek requests to extend the program until after the referendum, deepening doubt over Greece’s future in the euro zone.

Expectations of higher U.S. borrowing rates going forward is considered bearish for gold, as the precious metal struggles to compete with yield-bearing assets when rates are on the rise.

In the week ahead, market participants will also be looking ahead to the latest U.S. employment report, due for release one day ahead of schedule on Thursday, for signs of improvement in the labor market, which the Federal Reserve is a key factor in deciding when to start hiking interest rates.

On Monday in the euro zone, Germany and Spain are to release preliminary data on consumer inflation.

Later Monday, the U.S. is to publish a report on pending home sales.

Stocks to watch: Otto Marine, mm2 Asia, Lippo Malls Indonesia Retail Trust

OFFSHORE marine company Otto Marine has secured orders worth US$131 million, mainly contributed by the group's chartering business, in the second quarter of its financial year 2015 till date.

The substantial increase in new chartering contracts was attributable to the group's strategy to improve the utilisation rate of the fleet, in view of the potential cost that idle vessels will incur, the group said in a statement on Monday morning.
Utilisation rate for the group's chartering business has also improved for Q2FY15 against the last few quarters, it added.

The notes, which will bear interest at the rate of 1.5 per cent per annum on the principal amount, are convertible into fully paid-up ordinary shares of the company or exchangeable into fully paid-up new ordinary shares of its cinema subsidiary, mm2 Asia said in a statement on Monday morning.

Phillip Asia currently holds 9.315 per cent of the issued share capital of mm2 Asia.The net proceeds will be utilised in connection with the proposed acquisition from Cathay Cineplexes of cinemas in two locations in Malaysia, as announced by the company on April 30, 2015.

Lippo Malls Indonesia Retail Trust (LMIR Trust) on Saturday entered into conditional sale and purchase agreements for the acquisitions of Lippo Plaza Batu and Palembang Icon for the purchase consideration of 265 billion rupiah (S$26.8 million) and 790 billion rupiah respectively. The total purchase consideration, including professional and other fees and expenses of approximately S$4 million in connection with the acquisitions, is estimated to be approximately S$110.8 million.

The acquisitions represent an opportunity for LMIR Trust to acquire income-producing quality properties below their independent valuations, and are in line with the manager's acquisition growth strategy of owning retail and/or retail related properties to optimise unitholders' returns, as well as providing potential capital appreciation and long-term growth, LMIRT Management, manager of LMIR Trust, said in a statement on Monday morning.

Malaysia: Stocks open lower on Monday

klci stock picksMalaysia share prices opened lower on Monday morning with the FTSE Bursa Malaysia Kuala Lumpur Composite Index down at 1,708.63 points, down 1.84 points.

Some 97.6 million shares worth RM32.91 million were traded.
Losers outnumbered gainers 206 to 75.

Monday, June 22, 2015

HSBC joins NETS payment network

HSBC debit cardholders will be able to make NETS payments at 87,000 acceptance points island-wide with effect from June 23, 2015.

klci stock picks todayHSBC is the latest foreign bank after Standard Chartered Bank and Maybank to offer its debit cardholders this payment capability, NETS said on Monday.

"This allows HSBC debit cardholders to tap into Singapore's most widely used payment network, with 10 million cardholders," it said.

The NETS Debit service was launched in 1986 to enable participating banks' cardholders to pay for purchases electronically at the point of sale.

Malaysia: Shares end higher

kuala lumpur stock picks todayMALAYSIAN shares ended higher on Monday with the Kuala Lumpur Composite Index adding 10.99 points to close at 1,732.76.
Some 1.54 billion lots, valued at RM1.82 billion were traded. Gainers numbered 561 while losers numbered 238.

Monday, June 8, 2015

Malaysia's 1MDB repays US$975 million loan: statement

[KUALA LUMPUR] Malaysian state investment fund 1MDB has fully repaid a US$975 million loan owed to a syndicate of international banks, it said in a statement on Monday.

The move reflects the fund's move to reduce its debt levels, in line with a rationalisation plan approved by the cabinet, it said in the statement.

1MDB, which owns property and energy assets and whose advisory board is chaired by Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak, has been dogged by controversy over its nearly 42 billion ringgit (S$15 billion) of debts and alleged financial mismanagement.
Malaysia's central bank said on June 3 it had launched a formal enquiry into 1MDB and issued a legal directive for information, seeking to establish whether there had been any violation of its rules.

Malaysia: Shares end lower

MALAYSIAN shares ended lower on Monday with the Kuala Lumpur Composite Index slipping 5.88 points to close at 1,739.45.
Some 1.24 billion lots, valued at RM1.38 billion were traded. Gainers numbered 254 while losers numbered 532.

Thursday, June 4, 2015

US: Stocks rise on data, dovish ECB meeting

[NEW YORK] Wall Street stocks rose on Wednesday following a wave of mostly solid US data and a fresh confirmation of ultra-easy money policies by the European Central Bank.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average advanced 64.33 points (0.36 per cent) to 18,076.27.

The broad-based S&P 500 added 4.47 (0.21 per cent) at 2,114.07, while the tech-rich Nasdaq Composite Index gained 22.71 (0.45 per cent) to 5,099.23. Economic reports showed a big drop in the US trade deficit in April, slower growth in the US services sector in May and a solid 201,000 new private-sector jobs in May.

Malaysia: Shares open lower on Thursday morning

Malaysia share prices fell on Thursday morning with the FTSE Bursa Malaysia Kuala Lumpur Composite Index down 8.13 points to 1,741.04 points.

Volume was 21.8 million lots worth RM18.46 million.
Gainers outnumbered losers 114 to 72.

Tuesday, June 2, 2015

Malaysia: Shares open lower

Malaysia share prices opened lower on Tuesday with the FTSE Bursa Malaysia Kuala Lumpur Composite Index down 3.19 points to 1,740.22.

Volume was 89.7 million lots worth RM47 million.
Gainers outnumbered losers 150 to 104.