Malaysian shares, ringgit may track crude oil's 4% drop

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KUALA LUMPUR (Nov 13): The FBM KLCI may track overnight crude oil and US share losses as investors eye Malaysia's third quarter (3Q) gross domestic product (GDP) announcement today.

Bank Negara Malaysia is scheduled to announce the 3Q GDP numbers before noon. The Malaysian economy grew 4.9% in the 2Q from a year earlier.

Today, the 3Q GDP numbers and lower crude oil prices may also put the ringgit in the spotlight. This is because these indicators offer clues on Bank Negara's interest rate policy.

Yesterday, the KLCI fell 2.12 points to close at 1,663.20. The ringgit was last traded at 4.3650 versus the US dollar.

Overnight, the Dow Jones Industrial Average declined 1.44%, S&P 500 fell 1.4% while Nasdaq Composite was 1.22% lower. Brent oil fell US$1.75 or 3.8% to US$44.06 a barrel while US oil dropped US$1.18 or 2.8% to US$41.75.

Reuters reported that Wall Street suffered its worst session in over a month on Thursday as lower commodity prices weighed on energy and materials stocks and comments by a Federal Reserve policymaker hinted at an approaching interest-rate hike.

Oil prices tumbled on Thursday, accelerating a slump that threatens to test new six-and-a-half year lows, with traders unnerved by a persistent rise in US stockpiles and a downbeat forecast for next year.