KUALA LUMPUR: Malaysian shares rose to over three-month highs Monday.
A report in Nikkei Asian Review said this was likely due to better-than-expected US employment numbers which reassured investors about the health of the world’s largest economy.
The nation’s benchmark FTSE Bursa Malaysia rose 0.52 per cent to 1,672.68 points, its highest level since April 29.
The ringgit fell 0.3 per cent to 4.035 on Monday.
Data released Friday showed the US economy added 255,000 jobs in July, considerably higher than economist expectations and the second consecutive month of strong job growth.
The Nikkei Asian Review report said the data came as a relief to investors concerned about slowing economic growth, especially after second-quarter US gross domestic product data missed expectations.
Global markets rallied Friday after the data with benchmark index S&P 500 rising almost 1 per cent to lifetime highs, said the report. Other bourses too showed gains.
On the KLCI, 20 of the 30 constituents ended higher Monday, while overall advancing issues outnumbered declining ones 455 to 370.
Net foreign inflows into Malaysian equities rose to RM301.8 million last week from RM105.5 million a week ago, according to MIDF Research. Total foreign inflows in 2016 now stand at RM1.26 billion, according to the report.
British American Tobacco Malaysia, MISC and CIMB Group Holdings led advances on the KLCI Monday, while IOI Corporation, KLCC Property Holdings and Malayan Banking declined.
British American Tobacco Malaysia rose 3.5 per cent to RM51.96. CIMB Group Holdings rose 2.3 per cent to RM4.52 Monday, while Hong Leong Financial Group advanced 1.3 per cent to RM15.40.
MISC advanced 0.9 per cent to RM7.65.
IOI Corporation slipped 1.1 per cent to RM4.40. KLCC Property Holdings and Malayan Banking were the only other stocks to end lower Monday, sliding 1.2 per cent to RM7.66 and 0.3 per cent to RM7.98.