KUALA LUMPUR: Global equities firmed up on Wednesday as investors speculated that the US Federal Reserve may decide not to hike rates at the end of its two-day monetary policy meeting.
Investors are betting on the Fed halting its tightening measures as the sharp fall in oil prices – Brent crude slid nearly 6% in the overnight session – and the slowing global economy are seen to offset inflationary pressures.
At 12.30pm, the FBM KLCI was up 10.48 points to 1,645.79. Trading volume was 1.09 billion shares valued at RM895.9mil.
Leading gainers on the KLCI were IHH climbing 16 sen to RM5.35, Some Darby Plantation jumping 22 sen to RM4.31 and Public Bank adding 30 sen to RM24.56.
Seeing active trade, Genting Malaysia jumped 18 sen to RM3.01 on reports that its theme park remains on track for an early 2019 launch. Genting also rose 22 sen to RM6.25.
On the losing end, Petronas Chemicals shed three sen to RM9.12, Petronas Gas slipping eight sen to RM19.20 and Petronas Dagangan dropping egiht sen to RM25.64.
Top Glove continued to see selling pressure, losing 11 sen to RM5.35.
The most active counter in the morning session was Hibiscus, which lost seven sen to 79 sen.
VS Industry recovered some losses after a two-day rout, rising 5.5 sen to 71 sen.
Oil markets rebounded from a rout in the previous session that saw US crude oil losing 7.2% and Brent shaving off 5.62%.
WTI crude rose four cents to US$46.28 a barrel while Brent crude gained 18 cents to US$56.44.
In currencies, the ringgit dropped 0.15% against the US dollar at 4.1805. It was 0.25% weaker against the pound sterling at 5.2937 and 0.25% lower against the Singapore dollar at 3.0529.
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