KLCI up 9.38pts on stronger ringgit, higher oil prices

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KUALA LUMPUR (Jan 24): The FBM KLCI climbed 9.38 points or 0.6% on a stronger ringgit against a weakening U.S. dollar, amid higher crude oil prices.

At 5pm, the KLCI closed at its intraday high at 1,680.69 points. The ringgit strengthened to 4.4353 against the U.S. dollar at 5:36pm. 

Reuters reported the dollar struggled in Asia on Tuesday, as U.S. President Donald Trump's focus on protectionism ahead of fiscal stimulus, fuelled suspicions his administration might be content to gain a competitive advantage through a weaker currency.

It was reported oil prices rose on Tuesday, on evidence the global market was tightening, as lower production by the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) and other exporters drained stocks, although an increase in drilling in the U.S. could keep a lid on prices. Benchmark Brent crude was up 40 cents at US$55.63 a barrel by 0840 GMT. U.S. light crude was 40 cents higher at to US$53.15.

In Malaysia, Malacca Securities Sdn Bhd analyst Kenneth Leong told theedgemarkets.com that recent developments relating to OPEC’s oil production cut agreement, along with the impact of a weakening U.S. dollar, were largely encouraging for the local market.

Leong also noted gains in banking shares like CIMB Group Holdings Bhd. CIMB added four sen to RM4.92 to become Bursa Malaysia's fourth most-active stock.

“We can see that there is buying support in both selective and heavyweight banking index," he said.

Across Bursa Malaysia, 1.56 billion shares, worth RM2.03 billion, were traded. There were 416 gainers and 353 decliners.