KLCI steadies near 1,650, oil prices jump on Mexican tariff talk

  • Business
  • Friday, 07 Jun 2019

KUALA LUMPUR: The FBM KLCI held on to early gains as the local market picked up in its first trading session after the Hari Raya Aidifiltri holiday.

At 12.30pm, the local index was 4.88 points higher at 1,648.97. Bursa Malaysia displayed a positive market breadth of 380 advancers versus 262 decliners and 326 counters unchanged.

Trading activity remained muted with 920.4 million shares exchanging hands for a value of RM712.59mil.

The morning advance saw the FBM KLCI testing the psychologically important 1,650-point level with notable price action seen among telcos.

Maxis gained 10 sen to RM5.54 Axiata rose 10 sen to RM4.66 and Digi gained five sen to RM4.82.

IHH Healthcare also led the advance with a nine sen increase to RM5.52.

Counters experiencing active investor interest included PHB falling 0.5 sen to one sen, Ekovest gaining two sen to 79.5 sen and Bumi Armada adding one sen to 21 sen.

Growing trade conflicts and the global economy continued to take centre stage on the external front with the increasing likelihood of a US Federal Reserve rate cut in June piquing investor interest.

As the June 30 deadline loomed, the stand-off between the US and Mexico has been a focal point as Bloomberg reported a possible delay in the tariff hike on Mexican imports. Washington has reiterated that it will follow through on the plan on Monday unless Mexico met its demands.

The Shanghai Composite Index slid into the red amid its own trade tensions with the US, falling 1.2% by midday. China's CSI300 Index dropped 0.9% while Hong Kong's Hang Seng Index gained 0.25%.

Japan's Nikkei Index was up 0.6% and South Korea's Kospi Index rose 0.3%.

The prospect of delay in the Mexican tariff hike sparked a jump in oil prices. US crude rose 73 cents to US$53.32 a barrel and Brent crude gained 88 cents to US$62.55 a barrel.

The ringgit meanwhile jumped 0.4% against the greenback to 4.1582 as trade data showed the domestic economy was outpacing that of other emerging markets.

The local currency was up 0.3% against the pound sterling at 3.2789 and 0.45% higher over the Singapore dollar at 3.0442.

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