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Global Equities Roundup: Market Talk

18 Jan 2017 5:52 am

0552 GMT - India has imported 2.7M tons of wheat so far this season, mostly from Australia, France and Ukraine, and Bangalore wheat trader M.K. Dattaraj says 1.2M more tons is seen arriving by the end of March. The USDA has said India's wheat imports are expected to hit their highest level in almost a decade amid tighter supplies and growing local demand. The country last month scrapped its 10% import tax on wheat after drought the past 2 years reduced supplies and prices soared. But India is expected to have bumper food-grain production this season amid increased plantation of main winter crops including wheat. (vibhuti.agarwal@wsj.com)

0548 GMT - Affin Hwang Capital lowers its target price on Malaysia's Malakoff (5264.KU) 10% to MYR1.48 given the implications of the independent power firm slashing the residual value of its gas-fired plants. That indicated the probability of getting a renewal of power-purchase agreements are lower, contends Affin. But it's still bullish, calling valuation "still undemanding" and saying higher earnings should boost the stock this year. Malakoff, flat today at MYR1.33, is down 2.9% this month and 16% from a year ago. (celine.fernandez@wsj.com)

0542 GMT - Malaysia's Ekovest (8877.KU) rallies to 17-year highs after the construction-and-property firm announced winning a MYR6.32B ($1.42B) contract to build an expressway. More than doubling last year, shares continue to run higher after years of trading below MYR1.50. They're up 3.6% today at MYR2.61, putting the week's gain at 7.9%. (yantoultra.ngui@wsj.com; @yantoultra)

00:38 ET - More US businesses are paring China investment plans because of what they view as regulatory hindrances. An annual survey of members of the American Chamber of Commerce in China found 42% of respondents complaining of barriers to market access, government policies which are disadvantageous to them and uncertainty about the country's policy environment. Meanwhile the percentage of companies rating China among their top 3 investment targets fell to 56%, the lowest since at least 2009, according to the survey which was conducted in October and November. But the top reason companies said they're scaling back investment is expectations of slower economic growth in China. Group chairman William Zarit says firms feel the country needs to improve regulatory transparency in order to increase investments there. (chao.deng@wsj.com; @chao_deng)

0529 GMT - Malaysia's Toyo Ink (7173.KU) pop after signing a deal with Vietnam's provincial government to confirm the terms to develop a thermal-power plant. It said in a late-Tuesday stock-exchange filing it will use "commercially reasonable efforts" to reach agreements on all outstanding terms and issues regarding its build-operate-transfer contract and a related power-purchase agreement before August. Shares climb 15% to MYR0.58, a 2 1/2-month high and what would be the biggest increase since June 2015. (yantoultra.ngui@wsj.com; @yantoultra)

0526 GMT [Dow Jones] China's domestic crude production will likely fall by 4% in 2017 after a 6% contraction in 2017, says BMI Research based on the spending cuts intended by state-own oil producers. The continued fall in China's oil output will deepen its already substantial dependence on oil imports, providing a key support to oil prices and OPEC's plan to reduce the global oversupply, the firm says, noting that the country met about 64.8% of its oil needs via imports in 2016, and this could increase to 66.7% in 2017.


0523 GMT - The core media business of Singapore Press (T39.SG) continues to face headwinds while property earnings remain stable, says UOB KayHian as it remains bearish after the company's F1Q report. "SPH's media business remains dependent on the economic prosperity of Singapore, which looks lackluster." That as it thinks "earnings remain pressured and dividends cuts will be likely." (saurabh.chaturvedi@wsj.com; @journosaurabh)

0518 GMT - Builders of affordable housing in Malaysia are sliding after the government Tuesday raised income-eligibility levels by 50% while the moratorium on renting and selling them by homeowners would be halved to 5 years. "We think this will present competition to existing players given PR1MA houses are becoming more attractive to buyers," says TA Securities. It says Hua Yang (5062.KU) and Sentoria (5213.KU) would be the biggest losers; both are mainly focused in the affordable-housing segment. They're down 1.9% and 2.7%, respectively, with Hua Yang matching December's 3 1/2-year low. (celine.fernandez@wsj.com)

0511 GMT - If OPEC nations don't extend production caps beyond June and recent US production growth doesn't reverse, oil prices could move back toward $50 after likely averaging $55-60/barrel in 1H, says Vivek Dhar, the commodities strategist at Commonwealth Bank of Australia. The US, now seen as the world's swing producer, "holds the key" to how fast the oil market will rebalance itself, he adds. Brent futures have been around $55 since early December in hitting their highest levels in more than a year. (jenny.hsu@wsj.com)

0506 GMT - In the wake of CapitaLand (C61U.SG) saying 4Q earnings rose 10%, OCBC raises its fair-value estimate on the commercial-investment trust that much to S$1.53 as it factors in "firmer" rental assumptions for 2018-9 after rents in Singapore's central business district fell 20% the past 2 years. The bank, which remains at hold, adds CapitaLand may also benefit from redevelopment of Golden Shoe Carpark into a commercial tower. Shares are up slightly at S$1.57, putting the month's climb at 6.1%. (saurabh.chaturvedi@wsj.com; @journosaurabh)

(END) Dow Jones Newswires

January 18, 2017 00:52 ET (05:52 GMT)

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