FBM KLCI up as banking, plantation stocks gain

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KUALA LUMPUR (Nov 19): The FBM KLCI gained 4.33 points or 0.25% with major Asian equity markets and as Malaysian banking and plantation shares rose. The ringgit strengthened.

At 5pm, the KLCI closed at 1,710.71 points, supported by gains in banking stocks like Public Bank Bhd and CIMB Group Holdings Bhd. Gains in plantation stocks like Sime Darby Plantation Bhd and PPB Group Bhd also supported the KLCI's rise.

“The index movement was influenced mostly by banks such as CIMB, Public Bank, and Malayan Banking Bhd as well as plantation stocks like Sime Darby Plantation and PPB as palm oil futures recovered," MIDF Amanah Investment Bank Bhd research head Mohd Redza Abdul Rahman told theedgemarkets.com.

Reuters reported that Malaysian palm oil futures rose more than 1.6 percent on Monday as market stabilised after being oversold last week. The benchmark palm oil contract for February delivery on the Bursa Malaysia Derivatives Exchange rose 1.62 percent to RM2,004 per tonne at the midday break.

On currency markets, Mohd Redza told theedgemarkets.com the stronger ringgit against the US dollar also supported the KLCI's gain. At the time of writing, the ringgit strengthened to 4.1892 against the greenback.

The KLCI rose with major Asian equity indices. Japan’s Nikkei 225 increased 0.65%, South Korea’s Kospi gained 0.39% while Hong Kong's Hang Seng rose 0.72%. Elsewhere, Singapore’s Straits Times Index fell 0.6%.

Reuters reported that share markets turned mixed in Asia on Monday amid conflicting signals on the prospects for a truce in the Sino-US trade dispute, while the Federal Reserve's newly-found concerns over the global economy constrained the dollar.

Tomorrow, Malaysian markets will be closed for a holiday in conjunction with Prophet Muhammad's birthday, according to Bursa Malaysia's website. Trading resumes on Wednesday.