KUALA LUMPUR (March 16): The FBM KLCI jumped 19.78 points or 1.15% after the US Federal Reserve took a decisive step in tightening monetary policy by raising the key interest rate by 25 basis points.
The benchmark index closed at 1,737.14 points, its highest level in 12 months.
“The local market has slightly outperformed itself, but this is expected,” said Etiqa Insurance and Takaful’s head of research Chris Eng.
“Expect to see inflow of funds, now that foreign brokers like Credit Suisse and CLSA are generally positive on Malaysia,” Eng told theedgemarkets.com.
The FBM KLCI’s rally was in line with the rise on Wall Street, with the Dow Jones Industrial Average gaining 0.54%, and the Standard & Poor’s S&P500 Index rising 0.84%.
Some 3.4 billion shares worth RM3.62 billion were traded on Bursa Malaysia, while gainers outpaced decliners by 666 to 286.
Priceworth International Bhd continued to be the most actively-traded counter with 102.89 million shares changing hands, while gainers were led by British American Tobacco Malaysia Bhd, together with index-linked Hong Leong Financial Group Bhd and CIMB Group Holdings Bhd.
Elsewhere, rallies from stock exchanges in Seoul to Jakarta pushed the MSCI Asia Pacific Index to 145.72, the highest since mid-2015, while European shares rose a second day.
Across the regional market, Japan’s Nikkei225 gained a marginal 0.07%, while China’s CSI300 index rose +0.52%, as the most populous nation followed the Federal Reserve in raising its rates.
Hong Kong’s Hang Seng Index rose 2.08%, jumping the most since May.