KUALA LUMPUR (July 21): The FBM KLCI gained 12.06 points or 0.7%, as investors regained confidence amid a stronger ringgit versus the US dollar.
At 5pm, the KLCI closed at 1,736.19 as the ringgit traded at 3.8013 against the US dollar. Compared to the Singapore dollar, the ringgit however weakened to 2.7784.
A remisier with a local investment bank told theedgemarkets.com that the stronger ringgit versus the US dollar resulted in a firmer showing by several KLCI-linked blue chip counters today.
“Counters like Maxis Bhd, Tenaga Nasional Bhd, Malayan Banking Bhd and CIMB Group Holdings Bhd were all up today on positive sentiment in the market, following the recovery of the ringgit.
"The afternoon session saw more aggressive KLCI trades, compared to the morning session," he said.
This could be due to the KLCI price-feed disruption in the morning. According to a Bloomberg report, the KLCI was frozen for almost an hour, because of the price-feed malfunction from the exchange.
“The price feed for the FTSE Bursa Malaysia KLCI index froze at 10:38 a.m. and resumed at 11:32 a.m., according to data compiled by Bloomberg News,” the report indicated.
Overall, Bursa Malaysia saw 1.65 billion shares, valued at RM1.51 billion, traded. There were 555 gainers and 261 decliners.
Top gainers included Dutch Lady Milk Industries Bhd and Hong Leong Financial Group Bhd. Major decliners included Nestle (M) Bhd and Oriental Holdings Bhd.
The most actively-traded stock today was APFT Bhd.
Malaysian shares' performance today was also in line with other Asian markets, which closed on a positive note.
Hong Kong's Hang Seng was up 0.52%, Japan's Nikkei rose 0.93%, while South Korea’s Kospi climbed 0.50%.
According to Reuters, Asian shares gained on Tuesday, taking heart from Nasdaq's fresh high, while gold prices took back some lost ground, after plunging more than 4 percent to five-year lows in the previous session.