KLCI falls 7.8pts to intraday low, ringgit strengthens

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KUALA LUMPUR (Mar 23): The FBM KLCI fell 7.8 points or 0.43% to its intraday low as investors took profit following the index's earlier gains.

At 5pm, the KLCI settled at 1,795.85 points. The index had earlier risen to its intraday high at 1,811.08.

Bursa Malaysia saw 2.13 billion shares worth RM1.772 billion traded. Decliners edged out gainers by 436 against 374, while 311 counters remained unchanged.

Leading gainers included Hunza Properties Bhd and Petronas Chemicals Group Bhd.

Top decliners included British American Tobacco (M) Bhd and Hong Leong Capital Bhd

The most active stock was Privasia Technology Bhd.

Across the region, South Korea’s Kospi fell 0.03%, Japan's Nikkei 225 gained 0.99% while Hong Kong’s Hang Seng closed 0.49% higher.

Reuters reported that Asian shares started the week on a strong note on Monday after a weaker U.S. dollar helped fuel gains on Wall Street.

The ringgit strengthened against world currencies. The ringgit strengthened to 3.6950 versus the dollar and compared to the Singapore dollar, the ringgit appreciated to 2.6803.

Bloomberg reported that Malaysia’s ringgit led gains in Asian currencies on growing speculation the Federal Reserve will delay raising interest rates until the second half and as a technical gauge signaled a three-week loss was overdone.

A remisier told theedgemarkets.com that although the ringgit had strengthened, investors were still mindful of the currency's weakness.

“The possible credit rating downgrade on Malaysia by Fitch, I think, is also impacting market sentiment,” he said.