Further Malaysian share gains seen on US equity, oil rise

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KUALA LUMPUR (Feb 6): Malaysian shares may extend gains today on the overnight rise in US shares and crude oil prices. Yesterday, the FBM KLCI rose 0.19 point or 0.01% to close at 1,803.21.

Today, higher crude oil prices may direct the spotlight on Malaysian oil and gas-related shares like SapuraKencana Petroleum Bhd and Sumatec Resources Bhd. Crude oil gains may also support the ringgit as the commodity forms a crucial portion of the Malaysian economy.

Reuters reported  that U.S. stocks climbed on Thursday as energy shares bounced with oil prices, while news Pfizer would buy Hospira in a massive deal further boosted the market.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 211.86 points or 1.2 percent to 17,884.88, the S&P 500 gained 21.01 points or 1.03 percent to 2,062.52 and the Nasdaq Composite added 48.39 points or 1.03 percent to 4,765.10.

The S&P energy index jumped 1.5 percent as oil prices rebounded sharply from a rout in the previous session. U.S. crude rose 4.2 percent to settle at US$50.48 a barrel following increased violence in producer Libya and on an expected boost in oil demand from China's central bank easing.

In Malaysia, KLCI component Public Bank Bhd shares may be closely watched after the group said net profit rose 21% to RM1.25 billion in the fourth quarter ended December 31, 2014 (4QFY14) from RM1.03 billion a year earlier.

Full-year net profit climbed to RM4.52 billion from RM4.06 previously.

Public Bank plans to pay its second interim dividend of 31 sen a share in 4QFY14, bringing full-year dividends to 54 sen.