Malaysian shares lower as ringgit weakens on crude oil prices

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KUALA LUMPUR (Oct 20): The FBM KLCI declined 13.17 points or 0.8% as the ringgit weakened against the US dollar after crude oil prices fell 3.7% overnight.

The KLCI ended at 1,705.03 points at 5pm. The KLCI traded between an intraday high of 1,716.46 and low of 1,702.84. The ringgit weakened to 4.2675 against the US dollar at the point of writing.

Reuters reported that the Malaysian ringgit on Tuesday led losses among emerging Asian currencies as a slowing Chinese economy hurt commodity prices and the dollar broadly stayed firm amid some expectations of further monetary stimulus from the European Central Bank.

Bloomberg reported that Brent for December settlement was 5 cents lower at US$48.56 a barrel at 9.42am on the London-based ICE Futures Europe exchange. The contract slid US$1.85 to US$48.61 on Monday.

Across Bursa Malaysia, decliners led gainers by 623 to 290, while 278 counters traded unchanged. A total of 2.13 billion shares valued at RM1.85 billion changed hands.

The top gainer was Top Glove Bhd while the leading decliner was Nestle (M) Bhd. The most-actively traded counter was AirAsia Bhd.

Malaysian share-trade and ringgit dynamics came ahead of the Budget 2016 announcement this Friday. Today, analysts said they expected limited excitement from Budget 2016 that could lift the local bourse.

"I cannot think of any excitement from the budget to the stock market. Goodies like 1Malaysia People's Aid (BR1M) will only benefit a certain group," Mercury Securities Sdn Bhd head of research Edmund Tham told via telephone.

"The weaker (KLCI) performance today was most probably due to the weakening of ringgit and 1Malaysia Development Bhd (1MDB)-linked issues," Tham said.

Across Asia, Japan's Nikkei 225 was 0.42% higher while South Korea's Kospi rose 0.45%. Hong Kong's Hang Seng fell 0.37%.

Reuters reported that Asian equities were mostly lower on Tuesday after commodity prices languished in the wake of China's soft growth data and dampened risk sentiment.

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