ASEAN KEY DESTINATIONS
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The purchasing managers index for China, a measure of economic expansion and contraction, reached 50.9 in March, slightly above the equilibrium mark of 50.
The index rose to an 11-month high after hitting 50.4 in January and 50.1 in February. It has remained above 50 for six consecutive months.
The National Bureau of Statistics and the China Federation of Logistics and Purchasing reported on Monday that PMI subindexes for manufacturing output rose to 52.7, overall new orders to 52.3, and export orders to 50.9, the highest since May.
The PMI for small enterprises jumped to 49.3 from 46 in February, reaching a 12-month high, though still in contraction. The PMI for large companies was 51.4, up from 51.3 in February, and that for medium-sized companies was 50.3, up from 48.8 in February.
The slow recovery surprised some analysts, who expected the manufacturing PMI to rise to somewhere around 52 in March as many factories resumed full production after pausing for Chinese New Year in February.
Asian markets were mixed on Tuesday in the first full session after the Easter break, while Japanese shares sank for a second straight day as the yen extended its recent gains.
Tokyo fell 1.08 percent, or 131.59 points, to 12,003.43 — a day after tumbling more than two percent — while Sydney ended 0.38 percent higher, adding 19.0 points to 4,985.5. Seoul lost 0.49 percent, or 9.84 points, to 1,986.15.
Philippine Stock Exchange index shed 91.16 points or 1.33 percent to 6,748.43 as the initial euphoria arising from Fitch Rating’s recent investment grade rating on the Philippines waned. It did not help that regional markets were muted by weak US manufacturing data.
Dealers said the pullback was not a surprise as investors needed to lock up gains after posting multiple highs this year, which now marked the fifth year of the stock market’s upswing. On Monday, a new intra-day high of 6,956.92 was hit before a fresh wave of profit-taking.
All counters closed in the red but the biggest decline was incurred by the mining/oil counter.
The index was weighed down most by BPI (-4.13 percent) and First Gen (-3.6 percent) while investors also dumped shares of Megaworld, Philex, Ayala Land, DMCI, Energy Development Corp., SM Development Corp., ICTSI and BDO.
The day’s index decline was tempered by the gains made by Globe Telecom (+1.57 percent) and Petron (+0.97 percent). Bloomberry and Meralco also ended higher.
Bumi Resources, Asia’s biggest thermal coal exporter, posted an increase of more than 300 percent in net losses for the fourth quarter on derivatives transactions and higher interest payments.
Net loss was $34.21 million, compared with an $8.3 million net loss in the same period a year earlier, according to Reuters calculations based on published full-year and nine month results.
Bumi, the leading Indonesian miner and the world’s biggest exporter of thermal coal, posted 2012 net losses of $666.21 million, compared with a restated net profit of $216.29 million in the previous year.
Its full year derivatives losses were $344.86 million versus a profit of $66.06 million in 2011, according to its financial report.
The Jakarta-based miner’s 2012 revenues were $3.8 billion, compared with a $4.0 billion a year earlier.
Bumi, with a market capitalization of $1.5 billion, is controlled by the Bakrie Group, which joined forces with the Rothschild banking dynasty to list Indonesian coal assets in London via Bumi Plc.
The Stock Exchange of Thailand main index went up 0.99 point, or 0.06%, to close at 1,550.54 points at the end of trading session this afternoon. The trade value was 46.74 billion baht, with 14.11 billion shares traded.
The SET50 index ended at 1,021.89 points, up 4.54 points, or 0.45%, with a total trade value of 20.05 billion baht.
The SET100 index rose 5.97 points, or 0.26%, to stand at 2,286.35 points, with a total turnover of 26.95 billion baht.
The SETHD index went up 4.40 points, or 0.35%, to stand at 1,261.76 points, with total trade value of 8.47 billion baht.
The MAI index gained 4.03 points, or 0.83%, to close at 478.65 points, with total transaction value of 2.30 billion baht.
Top five most active values were as follows;
SUSCO stood at 6.75 baht, down 0.10 baht (1.46%)
TIPCO stood at 14.70 baht, down 1.40 baht (8.70%)
BTS stood at 9.35 baht, up 0.05 baht (0.54%)
N-PARK stood at 0.23 baht, up 0.01 baht (4.55%)
SOLAR stood at 8.90 baht, down 0.05 baht (0.56%)
Foreign buying of index-linked stocks especially banks and Tenaga Nasional on Tuesday evening pushed the FBM KLCI to close at a 2-1/2 month high and outperforming the key regional markets.
At 5pm, the KLCI was up 17.39 points or 1.04% to 1,685.00, this highest since Jan 15. Turnover was one billion shares valued at RM1.97bil. The broader market displayed the broader positive sentiment with two stocks advancing for every one decliner, with 522 gainers, 224 losers and 278 stocks unchanged.
At Bursa Malaysia, blue chips rallied on strong fund buying of index-linked stocks which also saw the spillover of interest to second liners.
Power giant Tenaga jumped 37 sen to RM7.59, adding 4.71 points to the KLCI. Maybank which added 11 sen to RM9.41 and gave the KLCI a 1.7 point boost while Genting Bhd rose 20 sen to RM10.10 and added 1.59 points. PetDag gained 46 sen to RM23.28, and PetGas climbed 20 sen to RM19.
Crude palm oil for third-month futures rose RM50 to RM2,337 on some bargain hunting after falling for four straight days to the lowest since Dec 20 on Monday.
KL Kepong climbed 18 sen to RM21.18, IOI Corp gained six sen to RM4.70 and FGV added eight sen to RM4.70.
Among consumer stocks, BAT surged RM3 to RM63.70 and it was the top gainer while Nestle added 52 sen to RM61.
Banking stocks also saw a run-up in their prices, with CIMB gaining seven sen to RM7.65, Public Bank 12 sen to RM16.42 and RHB Capital 11 sen to RM8.61.
On a broader market, interest was seen also for the second liners, with AirAsia up seven sen to RM2.84. UOA Development rose 26 sen to RM2.28.
The world’s second-largest oil palm plantation firm Golden Agri-Resources Ltd. (GAR), part of the Sinar Mas Group conglomerate, is earmarking US$550 million for capital expenditure (capex) this year as it plans to acquire more concession areas and increase the capacity of its refineries.
About $200 million of the capex figure would be allocated for its upstream business, while the rest would be channeled to its downstream business, the Singapore-listed firm announced in Jakarta on Wednesday.
GAR plans to acquire between 35,000 and 40,000 hectares of new concession areas, mostly located in Kalimantan. By year-end, it hopes to have up to 503,400 hectares of plantation areas, including plasma, 8.6 percent higher than 2012.
In its downstream division, the firm is expanding the capacity of its North Sumatra refineries and expects to produce 2.6 million tons of refined products in 2013, up 30 percent from the previous year.
GAR, which is 49.9 percent owned by the family of tycoon Eka Tjipta Widjaja through investment company Flambo International Limited, operates in Indonesia and China. In Indonesia, it owns and runs oil palm plantations, mills, refineries and also produces palm oil derivative products, such as cooking oil, margarine and shortening. In China, it owns and operates crushing and refinery facilities, and manufactures refined edible oil and food products.
The firm is aiming to book between 5 percent and 10 percent growth in palm-product output by the end of 2013. Based on its 2012 unaudited financial report, its crude palm oil (CPO) production volume rose slightly by 9 percent to 2.36 million tons, while that of palm kernel climbed 14 percent to 554,000 tons.
GAR’s total revenues increased 1.7 percent to $6.05 billion. Indonesia accounted for $4.76 billion or 78.7 percent of the revenues, followed by China with 21.3 percent.
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