KUALA LUMPUR: Malaysian shares rose on Monday, helped by bargain hunting in telecommunications stocks and gains in lenders, the Nikkei Asian Review (NAR) reported.
The benchmark FTSE Bursa Malaysia KLCI rose 0.5 per cent to 1,667.76 points. The index is up 1.5 per cent for the month so far.
The ringgit rose 0.2 per cent to 4.175 against the dollar.
The Budget 2017, announced by Prime Minister Najib Razak on Friday, did not prompt significant revisions by brokerages for KLCI’s year-end target, NAR reported.
Most analysts considered it a neutral event from the equity market point of view.
On the KLCI, 18 of the 30 constituents ended higher Monday and two closed unchanged, while overall declining issues outnumbered advancing ones 407 to 378.
Foreign investors bought RM211.1 million of Malaysian shares last week, reversing most of the RM227.4 million sold the week before, according to MIDF Research.
Year-to-date cumulative net foreign inflow now stands at RM2.4 billion, according to the NAR report.
Genting Malaysia rose 3 per cent to RM4.85 and Astro Malaysia advanced 3.2 per cent to RM2.88. Mobile operators Maxis and DiGi.Com rose 3.3 per cent to RM6.2 and 1.2 per cent to RM5.01 Monday. Axiata Group ended 0.2 per cent higher at RM5.13.
Telekom Malaysia, however, tumbled 1.9 per cent to RM6.58. Fitch Ratings Monday said Malaysian telecom companies would continue to experience intense competition, margin compression and higher capital expenditure. It sees limited upside on the sector outlook.
Lenders AMMB Holdings and RHB Bank were among the biggest gainers in the financial sector, rising 1.7 per cent to RM4.15 and 2.8 per cent to RM4.82, NAR reported.