KLCI flat, ringgit weakens as investors await US interest rate decision

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KUALA LUMPUR (June 13): The FBM KLCI fell 0.59 point to close at 1,763.57 points while the ringgit depreciated to its weakest level against the US dollar today at 3.9992 as investors awaited the US Federal Reserve's interest rate decision later today.

Reuters reported that the US Federal Reserve is holding a two-day meeting starting on June 12, and it is widely expected to raise interest rates for the second time this year. The focus is on whether the central bank will hint at raising rates a total of four times in 2018.

In Malaysia, Areca Capital Sdn Bhd chief executive officer Danny Wong said Malaysian shares took cue from US markets as investors awaited the outcome of the Federal Reserve meeting while evaluating Malaysian government policies.
“The (Malaysian) market is getting more clarity moving forward on local policies. [On the external front] there is some [reassurance] on geopolitical risks following the meeting between the US and North Korea leaders,” Wong told theedgemarkets.

Across Bursa Malaysia today, 2.12 billion shares worth RM2.02 billion were traded. The KLCI cut losses after falling to its intraday low at 1,755.38 points.

At 5pm, Bursa Malaysia top gainers included Petronas Gas Bhd, United Plantations Bhd and Supermax Corp Bhd. Top decliners included Public Bank Bhd, MISC Bhd and V.S. Industry Bhd.

In currency markets, the ringgit weakened to 3.9943 against the US dollar at the time of writing after depreciating to its weakest level today at 3.9992. Over the last one year, the exchange rate was between 3.8533 and 4.3043.

In Malaysia, investors are looking ahead to the Hari Raya Aidilfitri celebrations, which begin this Friday.

For tomorrow, Bursa Malaysia said in a statement that trading on the stock exchange will be opened for the morning session only.

"Bursa Malaysia and its subsidiaries will be closed on Friday, 15 June, in conjunction with the Hari Raya Aidilfitri holidays. Bursa Malaysia and its subsidiaries will resume operations on Monday, 18 June," Bursa Malaysia said.