KLCI lifted by bargain hunting; Ringgit strengthens

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KUALA LUMPUR (June 10): The FBM KLCI rose 6.58 points or 0.38%, tracking Southeast Asian share gains as investors bargain hunted for beaten-down stocks.

Reuters reported that most Southeast Asian stock markets recovered on Wednesday from over five-month lows on bargain hunting in beaten down shares, but concerns over an early US rate hike and uncertainty about Greece's debt talks limited the gains.

Malaysia's KLCI settled at 1,735.63 points at 5pm, lifted by plantation shares like PPB Group Bhd and IOI Corp Bhd. Yesterday, the KLCI fell 10.4 points or 0.6%.

Today, plantation shares rose after the Malaysian Palm Oil Board said May palm oil exports grew 37.3%, beating a Reuters' median forecast of a 36.6% rise.

Interpacific Securities Sdn Bhd senior dealer Sam Ng told theedgemarkets.com "the overall trading volume (on Bursa Malaysia) today is thin".

"Market participants are mostly watching the market at the moment, but there is some confidence in blue chips today," Ng said.

Bursa Malaysia saw 1.22 billion shares valued at RM1.55 billion traded. There were 357 gainers and 417 decliners while 336 counters remain unchanged.

Top gainers included PPB and Hong Leong Financial Group Bhd. Meanwhile, decliners were led by United Plantations Bhd and Panasonic Manufacturing Malaysia Bhd.

The most-actively traded stock today was IFCA MSC Bhd.

In currency markets, the ringgit strengthened to 3.7343 against the US dollar.

Reuters reported that Asian currencies edged higher as the US dollar retreated against the yen, with the Singapore dollar and Malaysian ringgit both rising more than 0.4% on the day.