FBM KLCI up as ringgit strengthens after oil tops US$70

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KUALA LUMPUR (Jan 12): The FBM KLCI closed 5.79 points or 0.3% higher as the ringgit strengthened after crude oil prices topped US$70 a barrel.

At 5pm, the KLCI closed at 1,822.67 points. The ringgit appreciated to its strongest level against the US dollar today at 3.9696. Over the past one year, the ringgit was traded between 3.9696 and 4.4707 against the US dollar.

In crude oil markets, Reuters reported today that Brent marked a December-2014 high the previous day at US$70.05 a barrel.

Today, Hong Leong Investment Bank Bhd head of retail research Loui Low told theedgemarkets.com that investors are still holding Malaysian equities as the ringgit strengthened with crude oil prices. The ringgit tracks crude oil prices as the commodity forms a crucial component of the Malaysian economy.

“There are also election counters (which) are being bought ahead of the (Malaysian) election. That’s why we can see that government-linked company (GLC) counters are moving much faster,” Low said.  He said notable GLCs include Felda Global Ventures Holdings Bhd and Gamuda Bhd.

Across Bursa Malaysia, 3.93 billion shares worth RM3.29 billion were traded. At a glance, O&G-related shares were among the most active stocks across the exchange. UMW Oil & Gas Corp Bhd was the most active stock followed by Sapura Energy Bhd.

UMW Oil & Gas and Sapura Energy saw some 242 million and 195 million shares traded respectively. UMW Oil & Gas shares rose 1.5 sen to 42 sen while Sapura Energy added three sen to 90 sen.