Ringgit, plantation shares in spotlight

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KUALA LUMPUR (Nov 11): The ringgit will be closely watched against a stronger US dollar as Malaysian shares brace for oil palm sector updates.

The Malaysian Palm Oil Board will announce this week Oct inventory, output and export numbers.

CIMB Investment Bank Bhd said in a note Malaysia's Oct palm oil inventory could have climbed to a record 2.72 million tonnes from the preceding month as exports dropped at a faster pace than production.
Plantation shares like Sime Darby Bhd, Kuala Lumpur Kepong Bhd, IOI Corp Bhd and PPB Group Bhd account for substantial weightage in the 30-stock FBM KLCI.

Last Monday, the KLCI eked out a 0.41-point gain to settle at 1,686.11. Yesterday, the Malaysian stock market was closed for the Deepavali holiday.

However, overnight US dollar gains could put the ringgit in the spotlight today. The ringgit was last traded weaker at 4.3825 versus the US dollar.

Reuters reported that the prospect of a US rate hike sent the dollar to a seven-month high. A strong dollar eats into the overseas sales at US companies.

In overnight US share trades, the Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 0.16% to  17,758.21 points. Nasdaq Composite fell 0.24% to 5,083.24.