Monday, December 29, 2008

Focus on the economy please..

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year... This year 2009 should be a year for Malaysians to put aside political trivialities and focus on economic issues.

THE year will go down as a roller-coaster in history with extraordinary dramas that have altered the country’s political landscape.

It has left many of us in the country exhausted and dazed. With days before the year finally closes, it won’t be a surprise if there are more dramas waiting to unfold.

Asian stock markets rose modestly in thin trade today as shares in commodities producers and Japanese financials gained ground.

Sarikei has been greatly affected as we're commodities producers for rubber, black pepper, cocoa, etc..

As usual, more than ever before, political stability is of paramount importance to the survival of Malaysia and of course to of the commodities producer's town..

With the elections of the major parties set to be concluded by the first quarter of 2009, let’s hope that we can finally see the end of communal heroes who are only good at playing to the gallery.

It’s time that political leaders focus on what matters most – enabling ordinary Malaysians to put food on the table for their families.

I picked this from AP news on business latest news and would like to share with the readers of my blog on our economic thin trade lately..

In Tokyo, the Nikkei 225 stock average edged higher by 7.65 points, or about 0.1 per cent to 8,747.17, and Hong Kong’s Hang Seng Index added 0.7 per cent to 14,286.02.

Benchmarks in Singapore and Australia climbed more than 1 per cent, while those in Shanghai and South Korea traded flat. Markets in Indonesia, Malaysia and the Philippines were closed.

With many investors away for the holiday and their books already closed for the year, trade across the region was quiet and marked by low volumes. The recent rash of government stimulus measures helped underpin sentiment despite worries that the first half of next year would see the global economy and company profits erode further.

“There’s this expectation and hope that governments could put a floor in for the economy and therefore lead to a better second half in 2009,” said Song Seng Wun, economist at CIMB-GK in Singapore.

Among the session’s best performers were energy companies after oil prices hovered near US$40 (RM140) a barrel as concerns about supply from the Middle East flared along with fighting between Israel and Gaza.

Australia’s Woodside Petroleum Ltd gained 5.7 per cent, top Japanese refiner Nippon Oil Corp jumped 6.5 per cent, and Chinese upstream producer CNOOC rose 3.8 per cent in Hong Kong trade.

Japanese financials were higher amid reports the country’s No. 2 non-life insurer, Mitsui Sumitomo Insurance Group Holdings Inc, was in merger talks with two smaller rivals to create the country’s largest non-life insurer. Mitsui soared 8.3 per cent.

Light, sweet crude for February delivery rose US$1.65 to US$39.37 a barrel in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange by mid-afternoon in Singapore. The contract on Friday rose US$2.36 to settle at US$37.71.

The dollar weakened to 90.37 yen, down from 90.75. The euro traded higher at US$1.4244 from 1.4031.

On Friday in New York, Wall Street staged a modest advance after the government came to the aid of General Motors’ financing arm, but worries about dismal holiday spending capped gains.

The Dow Jones industrial average rose 47.07, or 0.6 per cent, to 8,515.55, while the Standard & Poor’s 500 index rose 4.65, or 0.5 per cent, to 872.80.

US stock futures fell early today, pointing to a lower open on Wall Street. -news by AP