Ringgit rally fails to lift KLCI after crude oil slump


Ringgit weakens past 4 to US dollar, lowest since 1998

KUALA LUMPUR: The ringgit rose against several key currencies, notching a gain of nearly 1% to the weakening pound sterling but it was not enough to lure buyers into the equities markets after an earlier slump in crude oil prices.

At 5pm, the KLCI was down 1.66 points or 0.09% to 1,772.30. Turnover was 2.86 billion shares valued at RM2.61bil. The broader market was weaker with nearly four decliners to one advancer or  771 losers to 208 gainers and 344 counters unchanged.

The ringgit rose 0.95% against the pound sterling to 5.4972. Reuters reported the first poll taken since a suicide bombing in Manchester killed 22 people indicated that Britain's opposition Labour Party had cut May's Conservative Party lead to five points less than a fortnight before the parliamentary election. 

Thee ringgit rose 0.24% against the US dollar. It edged up 0.13% to the Singapore dollar at 3.0858 while it was up 0.32% to the euro at 4.7928.

Spot gold jumped US$10.04 or 0.8% to US$1,265.71 per troy ounce as investors sought saftey in the precious metal. 

Hong Kong stocks broke a five-day winning streak , as gains in air carriers were offset by weakness in energy shares following a tumble in oil prices.

Chinese investors failed to lend support to the market during the session because two cross-border connect schemes - the source of steady liquidity support from the mainland - have been suspended due to the Dragon Boat Festival holiday, which starts on Sunday, Reuters reported.

Oil prices edged higher  as some investors were tempted back to a market that tumbled 5% in the previous session on disappointment that an Opec-led decision to extend current production curbs did not go deeper. 

US light crude rose 25 cents to US$49.15 and Brent added 31 cents to US$51.77.

Petron Malaysia fell the most, down 43 sen to RM8.26, following the decline in crude oil prices.  Enra lost 18 sen to RM2.71.

Petronas Dagangan fell 10 sen to RM24.16, Petronas Gas four sen lower at RM18.96 but Petronas Chemicals edged up one sen toRM7.40.

Among the heavyweights, Genting Malaysia fell 18 sen to RM6.02 and erased 1.81 points from the KLCI while GENTING BHD shed five sen to RM9.94. IHH lost nine sen to RM5.62 and wiped put 1.26 points. MISC lost eight sen to RM7.60 and Tenaga two sen lower at RM13.80.

Telcos fared better, as Telekom rose 10 sen to RM6.50 and added 0.64 of a point to the KLCI, Axiata added four sen to RM5.02, Digi gained three sen to RM5.06 and Maxis edged up one sen to RM6.46.

Among the banks, AmBank fell 10 sen to RM5.19, Hong Leong Bank two sen lower at RM13.96, Public Bank was flat at RM20.08, RHB Bank edged up two sen to RM5.42, Maybank edeged up one sen to RM9.40 and CIMB three sen higher at RM6.35.

Crude palm oil for third-month delivery fell RM47 to RM2,560 per tonne. United Plantations fell 30 sen to RM28, PPB Group was flat at RM16.90, IOI Corp inched up one sen to RM4.58,  Sime Darby added three sen to RM9.33 while KL Kepong gained eight sen to RM24.78

Old Town lost 31 sen to RM2.78 after its weaker set of results.

AIRASIA X lost 1.5 sen to 41 sen with 108.8 million shares done while AIRASIA lost eight sen to RM3.05.

Among the key regional markets,

Japan’s Nikkei 225 fell 0.64% to 19,686.84;

Hong Kong’s Hang Seng Index rose 0.03% to 25,639.27;

CSI 300 shed 0.15% to 3,480.43;

Shanghai’s Composite Index edged up 0.07% to 3,110.06;

Hang Seng China Enterprise added 0.08% to 10,579.67;

Taiwan’s Taiex lost 0.06% to 10,101.95;

South Korea’s Kospi rose 0.53% to 2,355.30 and 

Singapore’s Straits Times Index lost 0.46% to 3,219.42.

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