KUALA LUMPUR (Jan 9): The FBM KLCI ended the week on a positive note after gaining 4.38 points or 0.25% to close at 1732.44 points, as crude oil prices extended its rebound.
Reuters reported earlier that oil extended its rally a third day amid speculation of a slowdown in the US shale boom, which will reduce a glut that’s driven prices to the lowest in 5-1/2 years.
Brent for February settlement rose 31 cents or 0.6% to US$51.27 a barrel on the London-based ICE Futures Europe exchange.
According to Bloomberg, Malaysia’s foreign-exchange reserves dropped to the lowest level since March 2011, a sign the central bank may have intervened to stem a slide in Southeast Asia’s worst-performing currency.
The ringgit fell 1.1% this week to 3.5550 a dollar as at 11:32 am in Kuala Lumpur, the biggest loss in Asia. The currency has weakened 10% since June last year, and reached a five-year low of 3.5862 on Jan 7.
Reserves had declined 7.7% to US$116 billion in December from November, Bank Negara Malaysia reported yesterday. At the time of writing, the ringgit was at 3.5620 a dollar.
A remisier told theedgemarkets.com that the market has remained positive on the back of a strong close by the Dow Jones, but still lagged behind regional markets.
"I think for the market to move to a higher level, it would need a stronger oil price and for the ringgit to recover against the dollar," he said.
A total of 1.72 billion shares were traded for a total value of RM1.81 billion. Gainers led losers 424 by 342, while 319 counters remained unchanged.
The top gainers are: Dutch Lady Milk Industries Bhd, PPB Group Bhd, Perduren (M) Bhd and Time Dotcom Bhd.
Decliners were led by Kuala Lumpur Kepong Bhd, Hong Leong Capital Bhd, Asiafile Corp Bhd and Syarikat Takaful Malaysia Bhd.
The most active counter was Hubline Bhd, with a total of 48.2 million shares done.
According to Reuters, Asian stocks rose on Friday on upbeat expectations for the closely-watched US jobs data, while the Euro continued to flirt with fresh nine-year lows against the dollar.
Regionally, South Korea's Kospi gained 1.05%, Australia's ASX 200 ended 1.56% higher, and Japan's Nikkei 225 closed 0.18% up.