Malaysian stocks gain as regional hope for market stability resumes

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KUALA LUMPUR (Feb 13): Malaysia shares closed higher today, as global major powers like the U.S. and Japan are showing signs of favouring market stability.

At 5pm, the FBM KLCI ended the day up 11.3 points or 0.67% at 1,710.24 points.

When contacted, JF Apex Securities Bhd head of research Lee Chung Cheng told theedgemarkets.com that he expects trading conditions to be “choppy”, going forward.

“I see some selldown in stocks. Technical-wise, the KLCI is still positive, after breaking the 1,700 psychological level. The next thing to look out for is the US president’s trade policy and his tax reform, which will be revealed in the coming weeks,” he said.

“There are a lot of expectation on his policies,” Lee added.

Reuters reported Asian stocks rallied to one-and-a-half year high today, helped by renewed hopes over US President Donald Trump’s tax reform plans, generally upbeat global economic data and a rebound in some commodities.

It added that the US dollar rose against the yen on relief Trump set aside tough campaign rhetoric over security and jobs, in a relaxed meeting with Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, with no mention of currency policy or any protectionist measures.

Asia’s major indices climbed higher today, with Japan’s Nikkei up 0.41%, while Hong Kong Hang Seng Index gained 0.58% and South Korean Kospi advanced 0.17%.

Bursa Malaysia saw 2.48 billion shares traded across the board, worth some RM2.27 billion. There were 522 gainers, 378 losers and 350 counters traded unchanged.

Top gainers were led by British American Tobacca (M) Bhd, while the biggest loser was Nestle (M) Bhd.

The most actively-traded counter was Bumi Armada Bhd, with 88.83 million shares traded.

Currency wise, the ringgit weakened to 4.4482 against the US dollar and 3.1302 to the Singapore dollar, at the time of writing.