KLCI higher on US markets, oil prices as ringgit strengthens

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KUALA LUMPUR (Jan 30): The FBM KLCI rose 5.28 points or 0.3% as investors bargain hunted for beaten-down shares following the index's recent decline.

The KLCI, which rose amid a firmer ringgit, also tracked Asian market gains. The ringgit and regional shares gained after the overnight rise in crude oil prices and US shares.

Today, Malaysia's KLCI was traded at 1,787.46 at 9.02am as stocks like SapuraKencana Petroleum Bhd and Public Bank Bhd rose.

Across Asia, Japan's Nikkei added 0.94% while South Korea's Kospi rose 0.46%.

M&A Securities Sdn Bhd research head Rosnani Rasul said : "As for today, trading sentiment (in Malaysia) may improve, elevated by higher risk taking as investors may bottom fish, thanks to the last 2 days of market rout."  

Yesterday, the KLCI fell 13.7 points or 0.76% to settle at 1,782.18.
 
Today, Bursa Malaysia saw some 52 million shares worth RM29 million changed hands. There were 155 gainers versus 48 decliners.
 
Top gainers included UMW Holdings Bhd and LPI Capital Bhd while British American Tobacco (M) Bhd led decliners.

The most-active stock was Media Prima Bhd.

The ringgit strengthened against the US dollar at 3.6283 at 9.10am. Compared to the Singapore dollar, the ringgit changed hands at 2.6826.
 
The ringgit's strength could have been underpinned by higher prices of crude oil, which constitutes a major portion of the Malaysian economy.  

Reuters reported that oil prices rose on Friday, with U.S. crude edging up from a nearly six-year low touched overnight on data that showed a rise in already record-high U.S. oil inventories. U.S. crude was up 0.2 percent at $44.60 a barrel.