KLCI up, ringgit strengthens on Opec output cap

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KUALA LUMPUR (Sept 29): The FBM KLCI gained 4.68 points or 0.3% after after the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (Opec) verbally agreed to cut crude oil production to support the commodity's prices.

Opec's move augured well for oil and gas-related shares and the ringgit. At 5 p.m., the KLCI closed at 1,669.64 points.

The ringgit strengthened to 4.1193 against the U.S. dollar, after trading between 4.1025 and 4.1340 today. The ringgit tracks crude oil prices, as the commodity forms a crucial portion of the Malaysian economy.

Bloomberg reported Opec agreed to the outline of a deal that will cut production for the first time in eight years, surprising traders who had expected a continuation of the pump-at-will policy that the group adopted in 2014, at the instigation of Saudi Arabia.

Oil jumped more than 5% in New York, after ministers said the group agreed to limit production to a range of 32.5 million barrels to 33 million barrels a day.

In Malaysia, Areca Capital Sdn Bhd CEO Danny Wong Teck Meng told theedgemarkets.com that besides crude oil, investors were also anticipating the country's Budget 2017 announcement this Oct 21.

Today, Wong said: "In the coming weeks, local investors will be looking at the national Budget 2017, whether there will be more foreign funds investing in our country’s mega infrastructure projects.”

Across Bursa Malaysia, 1.84 billion shares, worth RM1.74 billion, exchanged hands. There were 448 gainers, versus 342 decliners.

British American Tobacco (M) Bhd was the top gainer, while leading decliner was United Plantations Bhd. The most active stock was Borneo Oil Bhd.

The KLCI rose with Asian share markets. Japan's Nikkei 225 rose 1.39%, while Hong Kong's Hang Seng climbed 0.51%.

Reuters reported oil shares pulled regional stock markets higher on Thursday, after OPEC members agreed to curb output in a surprise deal, though investors were wary of chasing markets higher, as the U.S. presidential election neared.