KLCI rises with regional peers as US rate hike prospect dims

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KUALA LUMPUR (June 7): The FBM KLCI tracked regional gains to close at a high of 1,660.62 points today, supported by diminishing expectations of a near-term US interest rate hike.

At the end of trading hours, the benchmark index has gained 11.63 points or 0.71%.

When contacted, Areca Capital Sdn Bhd chief executive officer Danny Wong Teck Meng told the edgemarkets.com that the KLCI is gaining momentum, further strengthened by the slight recovery of crude oil prices.

"Oil price has also supported a rebound in ringgit, which would attract foreign funds. We do not draw a supporting or resistance level, but from how it (KLCI) has been performing lately, we prefer not to rule out the possibility that it will break 1,700 points," he added.

The local currency strengthened to 4.0557 against the US dollar today, and to 2.9966 against the Singapore dollar.

Reuters reported that Asian stocks rose to a five-week high on Tuesday after US Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen gave a largely upbeat assessment of the US economic outlook, while the dollar declined on easing expectations of interest rate increases in coming months.

Nevertheless, the news wire noted that China stocks were roughly flat, bucking gains in Hong Kong and other Asian markets.

Japan's Nikkei closed 0.58% higher, while Hong Kong's Hang Seng Index rose by 1.42%; the South Korean Kospi also went up by 1.3% today.

In Malaysia, Bursa Malaysia registered 551 gainers and 262 losers, with 336 counters remained unchanged throughout the day. A total of 1.94 billion shares, worth some RM2.13 billion, were traded.

At market close, gainers were led by Fraser & Neave Holdings Bhd, while losers were topped by the Hang Seng Index put warrant HSI-HY.

The most actively traded counter was China Automobile Parts Holdings Ltd, which saw 72.82 million shares done.