Maybank, Public Bank shore up KLCI; ringgit gains 0.29%

  • Markets
  • Thursday, 25 Jan 2018

KUALA LUMPUR :The FBM KLCI edged up at midday on Thursday, lifted by select blue chips while ringgit climbs against the US dollar. 

The benchmark index the morning session 3.61 points firmer at 1,840.65.  Its opened opening 0.49 of-a-point lower at 1,836.55 this morning. 

In the broader market, there were 408 gainers with 425 losers and 387 counters unchanged. Turnover stood at 1.71 billion shares worth RM1.21bil.

Ringgit was quoted at 3.9002, appreciating 0.29% at midday. The US dollar weakened to a three-year low on Thursday following comments by US Treasury Secretary, Steven Mnuchin, who said he welcomed a weaker US currency, as it was good for trade and opportunities.

Oanda Corp Head of Trading for Asia Pacific, Stephen Innes, said the overnight price action was more a reflection of a struggling US dollar rather than Bank Negara Malaysia’s pre Monetary Policy Committee  market positioning.

“Nonetheless the local currency was supported by higher crude prices and the sagging dollar.

“On another note, today is the day of reckoning for ringgit bulls, and  BNM could make or break many of our top line views,” he said.

Meanwhile, Hong Leong Investment Bank Research said market rally in the US had been trending upward without significant pullback and traders were likely to stay cautious in the event of any unpleasant news surfaces in the market that could warrant an extension of selling pressure. 

The Dow’s resistance is located near 26,500-27,000.

“On the local bourse, investors could be on a wait-and-see mode ahead of the reporting season to reassess their portfolio. 

“However, we still hold on to our view in 1Q18, which could be favourable towards consumer, construction and selected oil and gas stocks on the back of firmer ringgit and GE14 thematic trading ideas,” it said. 

At Bursa Malaysia, the top gainer was SOUTHERN ACIDS (M) BHD that gained 26 sen to RM4.48. Fraser & Neave rose 22 sen to RM28.36, British American Tobacco climbed 20 sen to RM33.36 while Hartalega gained 18 sen to RM11.68.

Movers in the KLCI component stocks included Maybank which pushed the index up by 1.2416. Maybank rose seven sen to RM9.98. Public Bank gained 14 sen to RM21.10 lifting the index higher by 0.8916. CIMB added four sen to RM6.99, nudging the index up by 0.6053. 

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