Daily Morning Note – 21 March 2019


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Asia stocks looked ready for a mixed open after U.S. equities turned lower into the close. The dovish tone of Wednesday’s Fed announcement unleashed a short rally that saw technology shares surge and energy stocks add to gains, lifting the S&P 500 Index out of a session-long funk and pushing the Nasdaq 100 to its highest level since October. But weakness in the financial and health-care sectors left the S&P lower for the day. The dollar sank with Treasury yields after the Federal Reserve abandoned projections for a resumption in interest-rate hikes this year and signaled a swift end to its balance-sheet contraction.

In Europe, a raft of negative corporate news dragged down the Stoxx Europe 600 Index. The pound fell as U.K. Prime Minister Theresa May sought to extend the Brexit deadline, while the opposition called for the public to have the final say over the country’s EU exit.

The Fed’s stance was more cautious than most had forecast, sending the yield on 10-year Treasuries down to 2.53 percent. Japan is closed for a holiday, while Australian shares opened lower and futures indicated declines for equities in Hong Kong. The New Zealand dollar rose as a pick-up in growth data eased concern on the need for policy easing.


BEARINGS and seals supplier Raffles United Holdings has received in-principle approval from the Singapore bourse for the listing of up to 234 million new shares under a one-for-one rights issue, and obtained an undertaking from its major shareholder to fully subscribe for her entitlement.

The world’s biggest planemaker Boeing faced growing obstacles on Wednesday to returning its grounded 737 Max fleet to the skies, while details emerged of an Indonesian crash with potential similarities to the Ethiopian disaster.

German high-end carmaker BMW warned Wednesday it expects pre-tax profits “well below” 2018 levels this year as it announced a massive cost-cutting scheme aimed at saving 12 billion euros (S$18.41 billion) in total by 2022.

ST ENGINEERING and China electric-vehicle maker BYD have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) to develop autonomous bus platforms, as part of the former’s plans to form a consortium in response to the Call for Collaboration (CFC) by the Land Transport Authority and the Singapore Economic Development Board.

CHALLENGER Technologies announced Wednesday that it intends to delist, with Digileap Capital making a cash exit offer for all of the electronic retailer’s shares at an exit offer price of S$0.56 per share. The offeror is a partnership between the Loo family and Dymon Asia Private Equity, via Dymon Asia Private Equity (S.E. Asia) Fund II.

Source: SGX Masnet, The Business Times, Bloomberg, Channel NewsAsia, Reuters, PSR

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