KUALA LUMPUR (July 17): The FBM KLCI increased 10.61 points or 0.61% after Public Bank Bhd shares jumped in the final trading minutes and as foreign selling of Malaysian shares appeared to have eased.
At 5pm, the KLCI ended at its intraday high at 1,737.28 points. Bursa Malaysia top gainer Public Bank rose 58 sen to RM23.60. Gains in other KLCI-linked counters like Digi.Com Bhd and Tenaga Nasional Bhd also lifted the KLCI.
Hong Leong Investment Bank Bhd head of retail research Loui Low said: "Foreign selling of Malaysian shares has narrowed and it is a good sign for investors."
Across Asian stock markets, Japan’s Nikkei 225 was up 0.44%, South Korea's Kospi fell 0.18% while Hong Kong's Hang Seng was 1.25% lower.
Reuters reported that Asian stocks were mostly lower on Tuesday, with a sharp decline in crude oil prices weighing on energy shares, while the dollar dipped ahead of Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell's first US congressional testimony.
In Malaysia tomorrow (July 18), the Statistics Department is scheduled to announce the nation's June 2018 inflation numbers. Reuters reported that its poll showed that Malaysia's annual inflation rate likely eased to 1.3 percent in June from 1.8 percent the previous month, thanks to the withdrawal of the goods and services tax.