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Britain’s economy retained its momentum through the final months of 2016, but inflation pressures mounted at the fastest pace since records began almost 20 years ago, a major business survey showed on Thursday. The British Chambers of Commerce (BCC) said sales and hiring improved modestly in the fourth quarter, adding to signs that Britain likely outpaced most advanced economies in 2016. But its quarterly survey also pointed to complications stemming from last June’s vote to leave the European Union. A record number of manufacturers expect to raise prices in theRead More
(Jan 5): Malaysia’s ringgit, one of Asia’s worst-performing currencies over the past year, has further to fall, according to BMI Research. One reason is because it is affected by the yuan, which is going to remain under downward pressure, BMI said in a Jan 4 note. There will also likely be a narrowing of real interest-rate differentials between the U.S. and Malaysia, with the latter probably staying on hold this year while the Federal Reserve increases rates by a total of 50 basis points. Further weakness in the global bondRead More

Posted On January 4, 2017By BlackbeardIn News

Gold jumps 1 percent despite strong dollar

 Gold erased earlier losses to trade sharply higher on Tuesday, shrugging off the dollar’s buoyant start to the new year. Spot gold was $7.89 higher, or 0.7 percent. at $1,160.10 an ounce. U.S. gold futures for February delivery settled at $1,162 an ounce. The precious metal is coming off biggest quarterly loss in more than three years. The U.S. dollar index, which measures the greenback’s performance against six major currencies, traded 0.85 percent higher on Tuesday, after rising more than 1 percent earlier in the session. Gold fell sharply inRead More
At risk of capital flight, China marked the new year with extra requirements for citizens converting yuan into foreign currencies. The State Administration of Foreign Exchange, the currency regulator, said in a statement Dec. 31 that it wanted to close loopholes exploited for purposes such as money laundering and illegally channeling money into overseas property. While the regulator left unchanged quotas of $50,000 of foreign currency per person a year, citizens faced extra disclosure requirements from Jan. 1. The annual limits for individuals’ currency conversions reset at the start ofRead More

Posted On January 3, 2017By BlackbeardIn News

Gold import lowest since 2003

INDIA: With the government giving a push to digital transactions following demonetisation and discouraging the purchase of assets using cash, some trends expected to change the gold business have been identified. The immediate impact of demonetisation has been on gold demand, which went up sharply after the withdrawal of the 500- and 1000-rupee notes on November 8. While the demand for gold increased immediately after demonetisation, it fell sharply in December.  Now for buying jewellery or bullion worth more than Rs 2 lakh, purchasers have to state their permanent accountRead More

Posted On January 3, 2017By BlackbeardIn News

Will ringgit continue to weaken in 2017?

KUALA LUMPUR: At 5pm on Dec 30, 2016, the ringgit traded at 4.4862 against the US dollar. Flashback to five years ago: On Dec 30, 2011, the ringgit stood at 3.1680 against the greenback, a 41.6% contrast. A key factor cited for the ringgit’s weakness in recent weeks has been the surprise win by Donald Trump in the 2016 US presidential election, which is widely expected to result in changes in America’s economic and trade policies. But some analysts, like Hong Leong Investment Bank research head Sia Ket Ee, doRead More

Posted On January 3, 2017By BlackbeardIn News

Ringgit expected to remain volatile in 2017

 PETALING JAYA: A rating agency estimated that as much as a quarter of foreign funds in the bond market would leave the country, if sentiment on local assets were to worsen, heaping pressure on the ringgit. This put the potential outflow from the bond market at RM55bil, based on the total foreign ownership of bonds of RM220bil as at the end of last November. The report by Malaysian Rating Corp Bhd (MARC), which focused on the country’s economic prospects for 2017, also highlighted the fickle nature of hot money flowsRead More
The Malaysian ringgit could weaken further in the January-March quarter against the dollar, as a combination of external risks and domestic issues hover over the beleaguered currency, according to a Westpac analyst. The currency pair traded at 4.48 on Tuesday morning. Last month, the ringgit fell to its lowest level since the 1998 Asian Financial Crisis and for full year 2016, the currency slipped 4.24 percent against the dollar. Robert Rennie, who is global head of market strategy at Westpac, told CNBC’s “Squawk Box” on Tuesday, “Expectations are for slowerRead More

Posted On January 1, 2017By BlackbeardIn News

Ringgit to stay under pressure on US interest rate rise

KUALA LUMPUR: The ringgit, which ended the year on a bearish note, will likely continue its downtrend next week, as investor sentiment is dampened by expectations of higher US interest rates next year. A dealer said strong US economic data which showed US consumer confidence rose to the highest in more than 15 years in December would encourage the Federal Reserve to be more aggressive in its monetary policy. Furthermore, he said the ringgit was also pressured by heightened uncertainty over the economic policies of US president-elect Donald Trump, whoRead More

Posted On January 1, 2017By BlackbeardIn News

Cut in borrowing costs in Malaysia unlikely in 2017

KUALA LUMPUR: A cut in borrowing costs in Malaysia in 2017 is unlikely with the downward pressure on the ringgit versus the US dollar, says rating agency MARC. In its Economic Outlook 2017, it also said Bank Negara Malaysia would leave the Overnight Policy Rate unchanged as it remains concerned about the high level of household debt. “The Overnight Policy Rate will be more or less unchanged in 2017. If it happens, it would only be limited to 25 basis points as the monetary stance has to be tailored toRead More