FBM KLCI extends gain; ringgit strengthens

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KUALA LUMPUR (Dec 28): The FBM KLCI added 7.34 points or 0.4% buoyed by buying interest in index-linked stocks including Tenaga Nasional Bhd and Hong Leong Bank Bhd. The ringgit strengthened as crude oil prices rose.

At 5pm, the KLCI closed at 1,779.10 points following yesterday's 11.77 point gain. Today, Tenaga and Hong Leong Bank added 30 sen each to finish at RM15.42 and RM17 respectively.

“It seems like our market is playing catch-up with the region, especially with the strengthening of the ringgit and oil price currently up at this level," Rakuten Trade Sdn Bhd vice president of research Vincent Lau told theedgemarkets.com.

Across Bursa Malaysia, trading volume was 2.64 billion shares worth RM2.1 billion. Tenaga and Hong Leong Bank were the sixth and seventh best performers respectively across the exchange.

At the time of writing, the ringgit strengthened to 4.0667 against the US dollar. The ringgit tracks crude oil prices as the commodity forms a a crucial portion of the Malaysian economy.

Reuters reported that oil prices rose on Thursday, lifted by strong data from top importer China amid thin trading activity ahead of the New Year weekend. Brent crude futures were at US$66.68 a barrel, up 24 cents or 0.4 percent. Brent broke through US$67 earlier this week, the first time since May 2015 this week.