Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Malaysian economy contracts 3.9% in 2Q

The Malaysian economy contracted by 3.9% in the second quarter (2Q) of 2009 from a year ago, but the worst was over as the economy showed a slower decline from the contraction of 6.2% in 1Q.

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Obama to reappoint Bernanke as Fed chief

US President Barack Obama will reappoint Ben Bernanke for a second term as chairman of the Federal Reserve on Tuesday, Aug 25 a senior administration official said on Monday, according to Reuters. Bernanke, whose four-year term as the head of the U.S. central bank is due to end next February, will also be praised by Obama for his handling of the financial crisis, the official said. Bernanke, 55, was appointed by President George W. Bush to succeed Alan Greenspan and is a widely respected monetary scholar who has long called for a more open central bank.

Monday, August 24, 2009

China's Sinopec quarterly profit soars, beats forecasts

HONG KONG, Aug 23 (Reuters) - China's Sinopec Corp (0386.HK)(HK$7.25), the world's second-largest refiner after Exxon Mobil (XOM.N), posted its best quarterly profit in more than two years on Sunday, buoyed by recent fuel price hikes and falling crude oil prices.
The company's net profit was 22.0 billion yuan ($3.22 billion) for April-June, based on Reuters' calculations.
The result was higher than the 16.1 billion yuan expected by five analysts surveyed by Reuters. It compares to a restated net profit of 1.62 billion yuan in April-June last year.

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Buffett says U.S. on slow path to recovery

(Reuters) - The United States economy is out of the emergency room and appears to be on a slow path to recovery,, Warren Buffett wrote in an opinion column in the New York Times.
The country will need to deal with the side effects of enormous dosages of "monetary medicine" that continue to be administered, said Buffett, who runs insurance and investment company Berkshire Hathaway Inc.

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Palm oil imports to climb as India drought wilts oilseed crops

MUMBAI: Vegetable oil imports by India, the world’s biggest buyer after China, may climb to a record as the weakest rain in five years threatens to damage oilseed crops and worsen a shortage of the commodity, a processors’ group said.
Increased imports by the South Asian country may sustain a 45% rally in global palm oil prices this year. The nation relies on overseas purchases to meet more than half its cooking oil needs, with palm oil accounting for 80% of the total.

Global interest rates may rise sooner than expected

KUALA LUMPUR: Anecdotal evidence indicates that monetary authorities around the world are preparing to end ‘quantitative easing’ or the ‘open tap policy’ aimed at stimulating economic activities, says MIDF Research.
It said consensus expectation was that 2010 would be a year of interest rate hikes.
"The commencement of the interest rate ‘normalisation’ action would mark the beginning of a ‘price rationalisation’ phase in global equity, as issues pertaining to corporate earnings quality come to the fore,” its head of research Zulkifli Hamzah wrote in a report yesterday.
“This means that 2010 may be tough for equity, for the most part of it,” he said.

Economists Call for Bernanke to Stay

Economists are nearly unanimous that Ben Bernanke should be reappointed to another term as Federal Reserve chairman, and they said there is a 71% chance that President Barack Obama will ask him to stay on, according to a survey.

Meanwhile, the majority of the economists The Wall Street Journal surveyed during the past few days said the recession that began in December 2007 is now over. Battling the downturn defined most of Mr. Bernanke's term, which began in early 2006 and expires in January, and economists say his handling of the crisis has earned him four more years as Fed chief.

Though the economists were overwhelmingly supportive of Mr. Bernanke, they don't think his tenure was without mistakes. A slow initial response to the credit squeeze and the decision to let Lehman Brothers fail were cited as the biggest errors.

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Bob Prechter "Quite Sure" Next Wave Down Will Be Bigger and March Lows Will Break‏

Posted Aug 11, 2009 11:52am EDT by Aaron Task in Investing, Newsmakers

In late February, Robert Prechter of Elliott Wave International said "cover your shorts," and predicted a sharp rally that would take the S&P into the 1000 to 1100 range.

With that prediction having come to pass, Prechter is now saying investors should "step aside" from long positions, and speculators should "start looking at the short side."

"The big question is whether the rally is over," Prechter says, suggesting "countertrend moves can be tricky" to predict. But the veteran market watcher is "quite sure the next wave down is going to be larger than what we've already experienced," and take major averages well below their March 2009 lows.

Yes, the late 2007-early 2009 market debacle was just a warm-up to what Prechter believes will be the bear market's main attraction. In this regard, he says the current cycle will echo past post-bubble periods such as America in the 1930s and England in the 1720s, after the bursting of the South Sea bubble.

The 2000 market peak market a "major trend change" for the market from a very long-term cycle perspective, and the downside is going to continue to be painful well into the next decade, Prechter says. "The extreme overvaluation, the manic buying and bubbles in the late 1990s [and] mid-2000s are for the history books - they're very large," he says. "The bear market is going to have balance that out with some sort of significant retrenchment."

Friday, August 7, 2009

AIG Posts Profit, First Since 2007

Aug. 7 (Bloomberg) -- American International Group Inc., the insurer rescued by the U.S. government, reported its first profit in seven quarters as investment losses narrowed.
Second-quarter net income of $1.82 billion, or $2.30 a share, compares with a net loss of $5.36 billion, or a split- adjusted $41.13, a year earlier, New York-based AIG said today in a regulatory filing. Operating income, which excludes some investment results, was $2.57 a share, beating the average estimate of five analysts surveyed by Bloomberg by $1.07.

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