Ringgit higher against US dollar, shares open mixed

KUALA LUMPUR, Jan 7 – The ringgit traded higher against the US dollar this morning backed by strong demand for the local currency, a dealer said.   

At 9.20 am, the local unit was traded at 3.0400/0420 against the greenback compared with Friday’s 3.0455/0485.

The local unit is expected to trade between 3.0350 and 3.0500 throughout the day, said the dealer.

Against the Singapore dollar, the ringgit was higher at 2.4742/4764 from 2.4793/4811 last Friday and strengthened against the Japanese yen to 3.4510/4537 from 3.4514/4563 previously.

It rose against the British pound to 4.8801/8842 from 4.8880/8941 last Friday but depreciated against the Euro to 3.9696/9725 from 3.9634/9682 on Friday.

Share prices on Bursa Malaysia opened mixed, in early trade, as demand was yet to pick up, dealers said.

After 30 minutes of trading, the FTSE Bursa Malaysia KLCI (FBM KLCI) eased 0.62 of a point to 1,691.96, after opening 0.39 of a point better at 1,692.97.

HwangDBS Vickers Research said the key FBM KLCI could challenge and may overcome the psychological resistance barrier of 1,700 points later today.

“From a technical perspective, a decisive breakout from this point may subsequently propel the benchmark index to challenge its next resistance hurdle of 1,715,” it said in a note.

Meanwhile, major US equity indices ended between flat and 0.5% higher last Friday amid increasing optimism from investors that the world’s largest economy is firmly on the recovery track.

On the local front, stocks that could attract buying interest were, following a business news report that the company may be among the pioneer issuers of business trusts to be listed in Malaysia.

Others include DRB-Hicom and Warisan TC, as the same business weekly said both companies were separately looking to bring in commercial truck models from India and TH Heavy Engineering, which is reportedly preparing to bid for a risk service contract from Petronas.

On the scoreboard, the Finance Index rose 9.52 points to 15,350.88, the Industrial Index improved 0.93 of a point to 2,815.27 and the Plantation Index added 7.16 points to 8,262.35.

The FBM Emas Index gained 6.33 points to 11,492.23, the FBMT100 increased 3.55 points to 11,344.20, the FBM Mid 70 Index rose 39.27 points to 12,478.87 and the FBM Ace Index was 6.14 points higher at 4,265.91.

Gainers led losers 200 to 90 with 182 counters unchanged, 1,157 untraded and 30 others were suspended. Volume was thin at 146.52 million shares worth RM78.69 million.

Among actives, Permaju Industries earned two sen to 51 sen, Nextnation Communication was flat at 11.5 sen and Sino Hua-An International rose one sen to 16 sen.

Heavyweights, Maybank was unchanged at RM9.06 while Sime Darby lost three sen to RM9.68 and Axiata eased five sen to RM6.69. – Bernama



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