KLCI in the red as ringgit weakens against US dollar


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KUALA LUMPUR (June 23): The benchmark FBM KLCI closed down 0.34% or 5.9 points to finish at 1,726.86 points as at 5pm today, as the ringgit weakened to 3.7450 against the US dollar after a brief rally to 3.7325 against the greenback yesterday (June 22).

Maybank Investment Bank regional chartist Lee Cheng Hooi said unlike other regional markets, the FBM KLCI has succumbed to minor profit taking thus it remained low today.

“Possibly, the softer tone for the ringgit against the US dollar caused the local index's weakness. Another contributing factor could be the negative news on the country’s foreign reserves, which were lower at US$105.3 billion on June 15 compared to US$106.4 billion at the end of May 2015,” he told theedgemarkets.com.

The ringgit, however, had recovered slightly against the Singapore dollar, trading at 2.7973 after hitting a record low of 2.8005 against the SG dollar yesterday.

Overall, a total of 1.73 billion shares, valued at RM1.68 billion, were traded during the day.

There were 396 gainers against 407 decliners, while 326 counters remained unchanged.

Among today’s top gainers were Nestle(M) Bhd, Carlsberg Brewery Malaysia Bhd and British American Tobacco(M) Bhd.

Decliners included Kuala Lumpur Kepong Bhd, PPB Group Bhd and DKSH Holdings (M) Bhd.

The most actively-traded stock today was KNM Group Bhd with about 107.7 million shares changing hands.

Regionally markets were up, with Japan’s Nikkei closing up 1.87%, South Korea’s KOSPI closing up 1.27% and Hong Kong’s Hang Seng index closing up 0.93%.

According to Reuters, Asian shares rose on Tuesday after Greece's latest budget proposals raised hopes it would stave off a debt default and reach a deal with lenders later this week.

“The brighter mood was expected to extend into many European markets even as some strategists remained sceptical,” said Reuters.

According to Bloomberg, oil fell before US government data forecast to show crude stockpiles declined for an eighth week.

“West Texas Intermediate crude slide 0.5% to US$60.11 a barrel. Brent was little changed at US$63.28,” said Bloomberg.