At 12.30pm, the benchmark index closed 10.14 points higher, or 0.63% to 1,624.71. The index opened 0.11 of-a-point higher at 1,614.68 this morning.
Gainers outpaced losers 375 to 317, while 312 counters were unchanged. Volume stood at 1.2 billion units valued at RM811.34mil.
TNB, the top gainer on Bursa Malaysia, jumped 70 sen to RM12.36. The power giant pushed the index up by 6.2530 points. Its net profit in the first quarter dropped by 26.56% year-on-year or RM562.9mil to RM1.56bil. In the previous corresponding quarter, TNB posted a total earnings of RM2.12bil.
Panasonic Manufacturing rose 66 sen to RM38.56, Nestle added 50 sen to RM147.50 and Tasek gained 45 sen to RM5.50.
British American Tobacco (BAT), Padini and Carlsberg are among the top losers on Bursa Malaysia. BAT tumbled 72 sen to RM32.72, Padini declined 35 sen to RM3.64 while Carlsberg fell 28 sen to RM24.10.
Meanwhile, the U.S. Treasury added Singapore, Malaysia and Vietnam to a watch list for currency manipulation, putting their foreign-exchange policies under scrutiny.
Malaysia was cited for its bilateral trade surplus with the U.S. of US$27bil last year and its currency intervention, while Vietnam was highlighted for its large current account and bilateral trade surpluses.
Bank Negara Malaysia said there are no consequences for the Malaysian economy from the country’s inclusion the US Treasury’s monitoring list of potential currency manipulator published today.
The central bank stated that Malaysia supports free and fair trade, and does not practise unfair currency practices.
“Malaysia adopts a floating exchange rate regime. The ringgit exchange rate is market-determined and is not relied upon for exports competitiveness,” said BNM in a press release.
At midday, the ringgit is quoted at 4.1950 against the US dollar. The local currency was up 0.08% against the euro at 4.6833 and 0.04% against the Singapore dollar at 3.0383. It fell 0.08% against the pound sterling at 5.3103.
Elsewhere in the region, Japan’s Nikkei declined 1.15% to 21,015.28, Hong Kong’s Hang Seng shed 0.4% to 27,280.74, China’s blue-chip CSI300 index was down 0.51% to 3,653.51 while South Korea’s Kospi declined 1.22% to 2,023.84.
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