KUALA LUMPUR: The FBM KLCI rallied by 6.45 points to 1,676.73 points at the midday close as Asian markets held steady despite significant movements in both the US dollar and the yuan today.
The benchmark index had earlier fallen to 1,667.55 points this morning before subsequently reversing the losses.
As at 1230PM, total turnover for the KLCI was at 855.76 million shares valued at RM646.46mil.
The broader market was negative with losers outnumbering gainers. There were 295 gainers to 360 losers and 338 counters unchanged.
The dollar rose to a seven-month high against the euro and strengthened against all major peers ahead of a series of speeches by US Federal Reserve chiefs this week. Gold declined against the greenback’s strength while crude oil is hovering just above the USD50 per barrel mark.
Meanwhile, the yuan fell to a six-year low as the prospect of further weakening by Chinese regulators triggered significant outflows form the country. A net USD44.7bil worth of yuan payments left the country in September, or the most since 2010, Bloomberg reported.
The benchmark MSCI Pacific Index was flat at the midday close with marginal gains recorded in Japan and Hong Kong’s markets. The Shanghai Composite Index was the major outperformer today with a rise of 1.29%.
Crude oil prices fell by nearly 0.6% after Iraq’s oil minister said on Sunday that the nation should be exempted from production cuts proposed by the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC).
Brent crude fell 24 US cents to USD51.54 while US crude fell 30 US cents to USD50.55.
Elsewhere, the ringgit marginally weakened to RM4.1835 against the greenback compared to RM4.1790 on Friday.
At Bursa Malaysia, Petronas Gas contributed 1.71 points to the KLCI’s rise as the stock rose 52 sen to RM22.26. Genting Malaysia contributed another 1.28 points to the index after rising 13 sen to RM4.84.
Among the banks, AmBank rose eight sen to RM4.16 while RHB Bank rose five sen to RM4.74.
Crude palm oil’s benchmark third-month contract for January delivery rose RM33 to RM2,757 per tonne.
Among the key regional markets:
Japan’s Nikkei 225 rose 0.28% to 17,232.10:
Hong Kong’s Hang Seng Index rose 0.31% to 23,446.92 points;
Shanghai Composite Index rose 1.29% to 3,130.70;
Taiwan’s Taiex rose 0.19% to 9,324.43 ;
South Korea’s Kospi rose 0.39% to 2,040.95 ;
Singapore’s Straits Times Index rose 0.45% to 2,843.68 points.
Spot gold fell by USD2.58 to US$1,263.89 per troy ounce.