KLCI gains 8.62pts as ringgit strengthens with crude oil

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KUALA LUMPUR (July 4): The FBM KLCI gained 8.62 points or 0.5%, tracking Asian shares' rise as the ringgit strengthened with crude oil.

At the 5pm closing bell, the KLCI settled at 1,654.84 points while the ringgit strengthened to 3.9967 against the US dollar. The KLCI and ringgit gained as Asian shares recovered from the immediate impact of the UK's European Union exit (Brexit) decision.

In China, the Shanghai Composite rose 1.91%, while Hong Kong's Hang Seng gained 1.27% and Japan's Nikkei 225 climbed 0.6%.

Reuters reported that Hong Kong stocks climbed on Monday for a third straight session of gains, as higher commodity prices and hopes of more stimulus measures from Beijing boosted resources shares, and investors built up positions amid ample liquidity in the market.

Oil prices rose on Monday following comments from the Saudi energy minister that the market was heading towards balance, although signs of slowing demand in Asia weighed. Brent crude futures were trading at US$50.60 (RM201.92) per barrel at 0643 GMT, up 25 cents from their last settlement. US crude was up 22 cents at US$49.21.

In Malaysia, analysts said the share market saw lacklustre trade in a holiday-shortened week. US markets are closed on Monday (July 4) for the Independence Day holiday.

In Malaysia, Bursa Malaysia said tomorrow's (July 5) trading will be opened for the morning session only and there will be no trading in the afternoon in conjunction with Hari Raya Aidilfitri. Bursa Malaysia said in a statement today that it will be closed this Wednesday (July 6) and Thursday (July 7).

Today, Mercury Securities research head Edmund Tham told theedgemarkets.com: "I can't tell whether the rebound (in the domestic market) is sustainable."

Tham noted that external factors like the upcoming US jobs data and Federal Reserve meeting besides Brexit's latest development would continue to dictate market direction.

Across Bursa Malaysia, decliners outpaced gainers by 363 to 338. A total 1.01 billion shares worth RM1.22 billion exchanged hands.

The most-actively traded stocks included Borneo Oil Bhd and AirAsia X Bhd. Top gainer was British American Tobacco (Malaysia) Bhd, while top decliner was Hong Leong Industries Bhd.