FBM KLCI rises as investors bargain hunt; ringgit weakens

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KUALA LUMPUR (Nov 28): The FBM KLCI closed 1.58 points or 0.1% higher as investors bargain hunted for beaten-down Malaysian shares amid hopes that the China-US trade war will de-escalate.

At 5pm, the KLCI closed at 1,686.55 after falling to its intraday low at 1,678.48. Yesterday, the KLCI fell 17.02 points to 1,684.97.

Today, investors bargain hunted for KLCI stocks including Genting Bhd. Genting Bhd ended 19 sen higher at RM6.57 today after falling 52 sen yesterday to RM6.38.

Today, while Genting Bhd shares were closely watched, fund managers said the KLCI was, however, supported by a mixed bag of heavyweights. At a glance, Bursa Malaysia's top gainers included KLCI stocks IHH Healthcare Bhd, Genting Bhd and Axiata Group Bhd.

Areca Capital Sdn Bhd chief executive officer Danny Wong Teck Meng said China-US trade war de-escalation hopes also supported the KLCI's rise.

“The index's (rise) is also partly due to the better sentiment regionally as investors are hopeful that the trade war will see some kind of light,” Wong told theedgemarkets.com.

Across Asian stock markets, Japan's Nikkei 225 closed up 1.02% while South Korea's Kospi climbed 0.42%. In China, Hong Kong’s Hang Seng was up 1.33% while the Shanghai Stock Exchange Composite rose 1.05%.

The ringgit weakened against a strengthening US dollar. At the time of writing. the ringgit weakened to 4.2013 against the greenback.

Reuters reported that the dollar rose on Wednesday before a speech by the Federal Reserve's chairman that may provide insights into the central bank's plans for monetary tightening and its reaction to recent criticism by US President Donald Trump.

It was reported that the dollar index, a gauge of its value versus six other major currencies, rose 0.2 percent to trade at 97.51, its highest since Nov 13. The currency has risen for three sessions in a row and is just below this year's high of 97.69.

In Malaysia, Wong told theedgemarkets.com he does not see any reason for the ringgit to strengthen until the end of this year amid anticipation of another round of interest rate hike next month by the Federal Reserve.