FBM KLCI gains on window dressing as Mahathir's comment spurs ringgit

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KUALA LUMPUR (June 22): The FBM KLCI gained 1.83 points or 0.1% on bargain hunting and amid fund managers' window dressing ahead of the end of 2018's second quarter.

Today, Malaysian shares also rose with a stronger ringgit in what appeared to be an immediate response to Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad's comment that the ringgit is fairly valued at 3.8 against the US dollar.

At Bursa Malaysia today, the KLCI ended at 1,694.15 after falling to its intraday low at 1,678.03 and rising to its intraday high at 1,699.95. Yesterday, the KLCI fell 17.43 points as investors evaluated the impact of the US-China trade spat on world markets.

Hong Leong Investment Bank Bhd head of retail research Loui Low Ley Yee told theedgemarkets.com: “The KLCI is going through a window dressing period. The sentiment is still negative, as both the macro and micro uncertainties are still lingering."

In currency markets, the ringgit strengthened to 3.9975 against the US dollar today after Dr Mahathir said he sees the fair value of the ringgit against the greenback at 3.8. “We would like to strengthen our ringgit, but it should be done naturally,” Mahathir told Bloomberg.

Malaysian equities rose as Asian shares erased losses to close higher. In China, the Shanghai Stock Exchange Composite climbed 0.49% while Hong Kong’s Hang Seng was up 0.15%. Elsewhere, South Korea's Kospi climbed 0.83%.

Earlier today, Reuters reported that Asian shares stumbled to their lowest in six months on Friday, hurt by signs US trade battles with China and many other countries are starting to chip away at corporate profits, while oil prices were choppy before an OPEC meeting to discuss raising output.