Malaysia’s ringgit posted its best
day in two weeks and equities rose 3% on Thursday as opposition
leader Anwar Ibrahim was appointed prime minister, ending a
political impasse following last week’s general election.
The ringgit rose as much as 1.5% and was on track for
its best day since Nov. 11. Stocks in Kuala Lumpur were
set for their best session since November 2020.
Anwar will be sworn in as prime minister at 0900 GMT, after
a general election on Saturday ended in an unprecedented hung
parliament and led to five days of uncertainty as parties
jostled for position.
“While we know for certain that Anwar will be the 10th prime
minister and lead a coalition of Pakatan Harapan and Barisan
Nasional, in terms of what it means for policy or cabinet
appointments, we need to wait for more clarity,” said Khoon Goh,
head of Asia research at ANZ.
“What investors will be looking for is who will become
finance minister, whether there will be any changes to the
budget tables by the previous government or any inkling that
Pakatan Harapan would introduce a GST.”
Other currencies and equities in the region benefited as the
dollar eased after minutes of the Fed’s November meeting showed
that most officials agreed it would soon be appropriate to slow
the pace of policy tightening.
The Thai baht jumped 1%, while the Indonesian
rupiah and Singaporean dollar added 0.2% each.
Stocks in Indonesia and India advanced
between 0.6% and 0.5%, respectively.
“Markets are now seeing more positivity in some of these
risk assets and the Fed minutes have been a source of that
positivity,” said Galvin Chia, an emerging markets strategist at
Singapore’s FTSE Strait Times index was the only
laggard, inching lower for a second consecutive day.
South Korea’s central bank, which has been a front-runner in
withdrawing pandemic-era stimulus in the region, raised interest
rates by a relatively modest 25 basis points, slowing its pace.
The won rose 2% and South Korean stocks
** Malaysia’s 10-year benchmark yield is down 0.1 basis
point at 4.322%
** Top gainers on FTSE Bursa Malaysia Kl Index
include Axiata Group Bhd and Top Glove Corporation
** Malaysia’s Oct CPI data due on Friday
Asia stock indexes and currencies
at 0616 GMT
COUNTRY FX RIC FX FX INDE STOCKS STOCKS
DAILY % YTD % X DAILY YTD %
Japan +0.54 -17.1 <.n2>
India +0.12 -9.08 <.ns ei>
Indonesi +0.27 -8.90 <.jk a se>
Malaysia +1.49 -7.57 <.kl se>
Philippi -0.07 -10.1 <.ps nes i>
Singapor +0.20 -1.83 <.st e i>
Taiwan +0.61 -10.7 <.tw ii>
Thailand +0.95 -6.98 <.se ti>
(Reporting by Himanshi Akhand and Tom Westbrook; Editing by