MALAYSIA SHARES, RINGGIT TUMBLE AS INVESTORS PULL OUT IN FAVOR OF BETTER-YIELDING U.S.-DENOMINATED ASSETS AFTER TRUMP WIN

KUALA LUMPUR – Malaysia’s blue chips and the ringgit closed lower in extreme volatile trade on Friday as Bank Negara Malaysia stepped in to caution that markets should not price ringgit excessively and out of sync.

At 5pm, the FBM KLCI was down 18.55 points or 1.12% to 1,634.19. Turnover was 1.98 billion shares valued at RM2.80bil. There were 279 gainers, 612 losers and 274 counters unchanged.

At one point the ringgit tumbled to a low of 4.3700 against the US dollar, the weakest since Jan 22, 2016, before recovering slightly to 4.3252. Its previous day’s close was 4.2802.

BNM Governor Datuk Muhammad Ibrahim said it would not peg the ringgit despite the recent volatility which the currency has been facing due to external enviroment.

“(The) ringgit will continue to face volatility mainly due to uncertainties in the external environment. The value of the ringgit should not be determined by speculative position,” he said at a press conference to announce the country’s third quarter GDP growth.

The ringgit ended Friday at 4.3418 against the US dollar at 6pm from the previous close of 4.2802 while it lost ground against the Singapore dollar to 3.0888 from 3.0428.

The ringgit slumped against the pound sterling to 5.4996 from 5.3011. It weakened against the Euro to 4.7429 from 4.6563.

Malaysia was not alone as other emerging Asian currencies and bonds lost ground too. Investors fear capital outflows from the region once Donald Trump assumes the presidency as he is expected to adopt policies that are likely to increase US interest rates faster than previously thought, Reuters reported.

The ringgit’s one-month non-deliverable forwards (NDFs) lost as much as 3.7 percent from the previous close to 4.5395 per dollar, its weakest since at least September 2004, according to Thomson Reuters data.

At Bursa, Maybank fell 16 sen to RM7.80 and erased 2.77 points from the KLCI, Public Bank 14 sen to RM19.64, CIMB dropped 13 sen to RM4.84,, Hong Leong Bank eight sen lower to RM13.06, AmBank seven sen to RM3.95 and RHB Bank three sen toRM4.73.

Genting Bhd fell 19 sen to RM7.67 and Genting Malaysia 12 sen to RM4.58. Tenaga Nasional lost eight sen to RM14.20.

Among the consumer stocks, BAT skidded RM1.36 to RM45.06 and Dutch Lady lost 96 sen to RM58.18 and Heineken 16 sen down at RM16.76 but Nestle added 70 sen to RM78.26.

However, crude palm oil for third month delivery jumped RM101 to RM2,995 per tonne. KL Kepong rose 22 sen to RM23.68, Kim Loong advanced 13 sen to RM3.44 and PPB Group two sen to RM16 while IOI Corp shed three sen to RM4.36 and Sime Darby four sen lower at RM8.20.

Export-driven glove makers climbed on the weaker ringgit. Top Glove rose 24 sen to RM5.24 and Kossan 13 sen to RM6.92.

Oil prices dipped on Friday as the market refocused on a persistent fuel supply overhang that is not expected to abate unless OPEC and other producers cut their output significantly, Reuters reported.

US light crude oil fell 33 sen to US$44.33 and Brent was down 17 cents to US$45.67. Petronas Chemicals shed five sen to RM6.81, Petronas Gas lost 14 sen to RM21.70 but Petronas Dagangan added four sen to RM23.50. SapuraKencana lost four sen to RM1.46.

Among Asean markets, Jakarta fell the brunt as its Composite Index fell 4.01% to 5,231.97 while the rupiah fell as much as 2.7%.

ANN

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