KLCI, ringgit trend higher on rate cut hopes

  • Business
  • Thursday, 20 Jun 2019

KUALA LUMPUR: The FBM KLCI gained 2.27 points to 1,668.81 in Thursday morning trading as investors expect global central banks to join in a wave of monetary easing while the resumption of US-China trade talks also offered a lift.

On the back of the US Federal Reserve's decision yesterday, observers are forecasting a rate cut later this year, which encourages the purchase of riskier assets. 

The decision had a weakening effect on the US dollar, leading the ringgit 0.4% higher against the greenback at 4.1550. However, the local currency dipped 0.4% against the pound sterling at 5.2689 and 0.1% against the Singapore dollar at 3.0568.

Among big caps, Tenaga Nasional led the KLCI higher with a 32 sen increase to RM13.60 while Maxis rose seven sen to RM5.69 and Hong Leong Bank put on six sen to RM19.02.

Trading volume on the local market was 1.25 billion shares valued at RM978.65mil. There were 340 gainers versus 335 decliners and 347 counters unchanged.

Paramount was in the spotlight on early-morning news that it planned to dispose of its education business for RM540.5mil. The stock jumped 12 sen to RM2.20.

Consumer stocks were also seen rising, led by a 54 sen advance in Carlsberg to RM25.16 and a 40 sen gain in Nestle to RM148.90.

A spate of investor buying took over Asian markets on Thursday as US President Donald Trump is set to resume trade talks with Chinese premier Xi Jinping at the G20 Summit in Japan next week.

The Shanghai Composite Index soared 2.6% while the CSI300 Index jumped an impressive 3.3%.

Hong Kong's Hang Seng Index, which has more than recovered from a slump triggered by political demonstrations, gained a further 1%.

Japan's Nikkei Index rose 0.7% and South Korea's Kospi Index added 0.2%.

Meanwhile, oil prices jumped over 1% as data showed US crude stock falling more than expected while Opec set a date to discuss output cuts.

US crude rose 69 cents to US$54.45 a barrel and Brent crude jumped 81 cents to US$62.63 a barrel.
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