Tepid KLCI showing as ringgit depreciates

-A +A

KUALA LUMPUR (Sept 28): The FBM KLCI fell 6.58 points or 0.4%, tracking Japan market losses as other major bourses were closed for holiday.

At 5pm, the KLCI finished at 1,608.43, paring losses from its intraday low of 1,600.27.

Across Asia, Japan’s Nikkei 225 was down 1.32% while Shanghai Composite index added 0.3%. Hong Kong and South Korea markets were closed for holiday.

In Malaysia, JF Apex Securities Bhd head of research Lee Chung Cheng said the market’s tepid showing was due to lack of fresh catalysts to move the market.

“It seems like the market is still pretty much affected by the news flow from last week. There just hasn’t been any interesting development to excite the market,” Lee told theedgemarkets.com.

The weakening ringgit, however, drew attention as it depreciated to a new level at 4.4250.

The ringgit weakened after foreign investors retreated from emerging markets following the US Federal Reserve’s indication of a possible interest rate hike by the end of the year.

Foreign funds also sold ringgit assets amid a combination of factors like falling oil prices and Malaysia’s political uncertainties as state-owned 1Malaysia Development Bhd undergoes investigation.

The Malaysian Economic Association (MEA) sees higher ringgit volatility in view of the impending US interest rate hike, which is expected by the end of 2015.

MEA vice president Dr Yeah Kim Leng said the US rate hike was another hurdle for the ringgit, besides other global factors. These factors included the slowdown in China’s economy, lower commodity prices and domestic issues affecting the Malaysian market.

“We still have one more hurdle to cross, which is the impending rate hike by the US. Most analysts are expecting it to happen sometime in December. This is another hurdle, given that it would result in greater volatility in the market,” Yeah told reporters on the sidelines of the Malaysian Economic Convention 2015 today.

On Bursa Malaysia, there were 1.64 billion shares valued at RM1.56 billion traded. Decliners outweighed gainers at 412 against 366, while 294 counters remained unchanged.

Notable decliners included British American Tobacco (M) Bhd and Aeon Credit Service (M) Bhd.

Major gainers included Lay Hong Bhd and United Plantations Bhd.

The most-actively traded stock was IFCA MSC Bhd with 62.74 million shares traded.

(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.)