Small caps lead Malaysian share gains; Ringgit falters

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KUALA LUMPUR (Oct 21): Investors chased Bursa Malaysia small caps as blue chips saw profit-taking.

At 5pm, the FBM Small Cap Index rose 164.35 points or 1.07% to close at 15,564.67. The index comprises companies within the top 98% portion of the Bursa Malaysia Main Market but excludes FBMT100 entities.

The FBMT100 added 17.4 points or 0.15% to 11,478.9 while the FBM KLCI gained 2.08 points or 0.1% to 1,707.11.

The KLCI had erased losses from an intraday low of 1,695.38. Genting Malaysia Bhd, Genting Bhd and CIMB Group Holdings Bhd were among gainers.

Earlier, the KLCI fell as investors locked in gains from the index's 13.17-point rise yesterday.

Today, analysts said they noted a lack of catalysts that would lift the stock market in the near future.

"There is not much catalyst in the stock market and there would be some profit-taking activities following last week's gain," JF Apex Securities Bhd head of research Lee Chung Cheng told via telephone.

Across Bursa Malaysia, gainers led decliners by 537 to 310 while 341 counters traded unchanged. A total of 2.39 billion shares valued at RM2.19 billion changed hands.

The top gainer was semiconductor device testing company KESM Industries Bhd while the leading decliner was British American Tobacco (M) Bhd. Instacom Group Bhd was among the most-actively traded counters.

The ringgit weakened. At 4.59pm, the ringgit weakened to 4.2865 against the US dollar amid lower crude oil prices and ahead of Bank Negara Malaysia's announcement tomorrow on its international currency reserves.

Reuters reported that Brent crude for December was down 40 cents at US$48.31 a barrel by 0830 GMT. US crude futures for December delivery were down 65 cents at US$45.64 a barrel.

Oil prices fell on Wednesday following a big build in US crude inventories that fed concerns demand may not be enough to absorb one of the largest global surpluses in modern times.

Across Asian share markets, Japan's Nikkei 225 closed 1.91% higher while South Korea's Kospi rose 0.18%. In China, Shanghai Composite fell 3.06% while Hong Kong's markets were closed for holiday.

Reuters reported that European stocks fell on Wednesday, dragged lower by negative third quarter earnings reports and the biggest fall in Chinese stocks in over a month.

(Note: The Edge Research's fundamental score reflects a company's profitability and balance sheet strength, calculated based on historical numbers. The valuation score determines if a stock is attractively valued or not, also based on historical numbers. A score of 3 suggests strong fundamentals and attractive valuations.)