Share prices close higher as Fitch revises outlook on M'sia to 'stable'

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KUALA LUMPUR (July 1): The FBM KLCI gained 21.32 points, or 1.25%, to finish at 1,727.96 points today, but the benchmark index retreated from its intra-day high of 1,737.67 points as some selling pressure emerged in the afternoon.  

The news on no downgrade on Malaysia’s credit rating is the major boost to the local market today.

According to Areca Capital Sdn Bhd's chief executive officer Danny Wong, the quantum leap in the FBM KLCI can be attributed to the improved sentiment after Fitch Ratings has affirmed Malaysia’s credit rating at ‘A-’ and revised its outlook to stable from negative.

“For investors, one major issue, which was the potential downgrade of Malaysia’s credit rating by Fitch, has been resolved; but whether it is enough to constitute a bull market, I think that is yet to be seen, as it would depend on commodity prices moving forward, and also corporate earnings for the second quarter of 2015,” he told theedgemarkets.com.

The report by Fitch also struck a positive chord with the ringgit, as it strengthened to levels of 3.7480 against the US dollar today, from levels of 3.7843 on Monday.

Similarly, the ringgit also strengthened against the Singapore dollar, trading at levels of 2.7813 today, from 2.8034 on Monday.

Across the board, a total of 1.94 billion shares, valued at RM2.17 billion, were traded on Bursa Malaysia today.

Gainers outweighed losers, with 678 gainers against 192 losers, while 251 counters remained unchanged.

Among today’s top gainers were British American Tobacco (M) Bhd, MISC Bhd, Nestle (M) Bhd, Kuala Lumpur Kepong Bhd and Dutch Lady Milk Industries Bhd.

Decliners included Huat Lai Resources Bhd and Shell Refining Company (Federation of Malaya) Bhd.

The most actively-traded stock today was Vsolar Group Bhd with about 60.83 million shares changing hands.

Regionally markets were up, with Japan’s Nikkei closing up 0.46%, and South Korea’s KOSPI closing up 1.14%. Hong Kong’s Hang Seng market was closed today in lieu of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region Establishment Day.

According to Reuters, oil prices fell over 1% on Wednesday after Greece became the first developed economy to default on a loan with the International Monetary Fund (IMF), and as both US and OPEC production hit new records.

The IMF confirmed that Greece had not made its scheduled €1.6 billion loan repayment to the fund. As a result, IMF managing director Christine Lagarde will report to the global lender's board that Greece is "in arrears", the official euphemism for default.

“[Correspondingly] front-month Brent crude futures were trading at US$62.79 per barrel at 0654 GMT, down 80 cents and over 1.25 percentage points. US crude futures fell 92 cents to US$58.55 per barrel,” said Reuters.