KLCI pares losses in volatile trade

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KUALA LUMPUR (Jan 16): The FBM KLCI pared losses in volatile trade, as higher crude oil prices supported sentiment.

The KLCI had tracked Asian market losses, as investors reacted to Switzerland's move to end its currency cap.

At the 5pm closing bell, Malaysia's KLCI fell 1.43 points or 0.08% to 1,743.57 points. The index had earlier fallen to an intraday low of 1,732.35 points.

Areca Capital CEO Danny Wong told theedgemarkets.com that "the marginally higher crude oil prices have provided short-term support to the KLCI."

“The weaker ringgit may see fund inflows into equities and fixed income assets, as investors begin to see Malaysian market as attractive,” Wong said over telephone.
 
US and Brent crude oil prices rose 1.04% and 0.81% to US$46.73 and US$48.66 a barrel, respectively.

The ringgit was traded at RM3.56 to the US dollar, and 2.8676 versus the Singapore dollar.

Across Bursa Malaysia, 1.78 billion shares worth RM1.88 billion were traded. Market losers led gainers by 426 versus 366, while 296 counters were unchanged.

The top gainer was Dutch Lady Milk Industries Bhd, while leading decliners included Carlsberg Brewery Malaysia Bhd and Petronas Gas Bhd.

The most-active counter was Minetech Resources Bhd.

Across Asia, Japan's Nikkei 225 fell 1.43%, while South Korea’s Kospi declined 1.36%.

Hong Kong’s Hang Seng closed 1.02% lower.

Asian shares stumbled on Friday and the dollar skidded against the safe-haven yen, after Switzerland's unexpected move to abandon its currency cap, jolted markets already roiled by plunging commodities prices, according to Reuters.