KLCI rises 2.19 points as risk aversion returns to global markets

KUALA LUMPUR: The FBM KLCI eked out a marginal gain of 2.19 points at closing time despite negative sentiment returning to global markets, namely due to the FBI's renewed probe into Hillary Clinton's emails as well as the breakdown in negotiations among the members of the Organisation of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC).

The benchmark index recovered from earlier losses to close at 1,672.46 points. This meant that the FBM KLCI has ended the month of October with a 0.6% gain despite the cautious sentiment in markets globally.

As at 5PM, total turnover for the index was at 1.45 billion shares valued at RM1.89bil.

Investors sold equities in favor of safe havens such as the US dollar as well as gold on Monday ahead of the highly anticipated US presidential elections on Nov 8.

Markets in the US and Europe turned sour last Friday following revelations that the FBI plans to renew its probe into Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton's email servers.

Investor sentiment were further impacted following the failure of OPEC members to agree on individual production quotas during a key two-day meeting over the weekend.

On the other hand, while major Asian energy counters led the decliners on Monday, shares of raw material producers rose alongside the prices of hard commodities as investors renewed bets on a recovery in Chinese demand for aluminium and zinc.

Meanwhile, the US Federal Reserve is set to leave interest rates unchanged this week during a policy meeting. On the other hand, futures prices now indicate a 69% likelihood of an interest rate hike by December, Bloomberg reported.

As at 5PM, the ringgit marginally strengthened to RM4.1965 against the greenback as compared to RM4.2000 yesterday.

US crude prices fell 10 cents and was last traded at US$48.60 per barrel. Brent crude also fell 16 cents to US$49.55 per barrel.

At Bursa Malaysia, Maybank and Genting Malaysia led the gainers and contributed more than 1.2 points each to the KLCI’s advance. Conversely, Axiata contributed 1.62 points to its decline after falling 11 sen to RM4.92

Among the banks, CIMB was unchanged at RM5.03 while RHB Bank rose seven sen to RM4.83. Public Bank rose two sen to RM19.86.

Crude palm oil’s benchmark third-month contract for August delivery fell by RM17 to RM2,771 per tonne as at 5PM.

Among the plantation companies that make up the KLCI, Sime Darby rose five sen to RM8.19 while KL Kepong rose four sen to RM23.96.

Among the key regional markets:

Japan’s Nikkei 225 fell 0.12% to 12,487.46;

Hong Kong’s Hang Seng Index fell 0.09% to 22,934.54 points;

Shanghai Composite Index fell 0.12% to 3,100.49;

Taiwan’s Taiex fell 0.18% to 9,290.12;

South Korea’s Kospi fell 0.56% to 2,008.19 and;

Singapore’s Straits Times Index is down 0.11% to 2,813.22 points.

Spot gold fell 97 US cents to USD1,274.50 per troy ounce.

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