Malaysian market records biggest jump in over 2 years

Malaysian shares jumped 1.6% and snapped four straight sessions of decline. (AFP pic)

BENGALURU: Most Southeast Asian stock markets rose on Friday, with Malaysia posting its sharpest jump in nearly two-and-a-half years, as strong overnight gains on Wall Street helped boost investor sentiment.

Malaysian shares jumped 1.6% and snapped four straight sessions of decline.

An analyst with a local bank attributed the gain to Tenaga Nasional Bhd’s tariff revision, but said headwinds were expected for the market going ahead, particularly due to global trade tensions.

Shares of Tenaga Nasional jumped 7.2% after the electricity utility revised its tariffs and said it would charge non-domestic customers an additional surcharge for the July-December period.

Malaysian shares shed more than 9% for the quarter, their biggest since the three-months ended September 2011.

For the quarter, all markets logged substantial losses on trade tensions between China and the United States. Vietnam shares were the worst performers with a loss of 18.2% while Singapore stocks fell the least with a drop of 4.6%.

Wall Street ended higher on Thursday as technology and other growth sectors rebounded from the previous day’s declines and financials snapped a 13-session losing streak.

Asian shares rallied from nine-month lows on Friday with MSCI’s broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan rising 1.6%.

Indonesian shares climbed 2.3% and snapped three consecutive sessions of fall, helped mainly by financials and consumer staples, after the central bank surprised the market with a 50 basis point hike in its key rate.

This was the third time in six weeks that the central bank hiked its benchmark rate, in a bid to strengthen the fragile rupiah.

Bank Indonesia raised the 7-day reverse repo rate to 5.25% on Friday. Seventeen out of 23 economists polled by Reuters had predicted a 25 bps increase.

Bank Mandiri ended 5.4% higher, while Unilever Indonesia closed up 3.5%.

Indonesian shares declined 6.3% for the quarter, the biggest since September 2015.

Meanwhile, Thai shares extended their decline into a third session and posted a 10-month closing low on largely broad-based losses.

Data released earlier in the day showed the country’s current account surplus narrowed in May.