Home Business Malaysian ringgit, stocks soar as markets cheer new PM appointment

Malaysian ringgit, stocks soar as markets cheer new PM appointment

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Malaysia’s ringgit posted its best

day in two weeks and equities rose 3% on Thursday as opposition

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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

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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

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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

Natwest Markets.

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

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climbed 1%.


** 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




Japan +0.54 -17.1 <.n2>

China 8 EC>

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>

S.Korea 9 11>

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

Anil D’Silva)



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