KUALA LUMPUR: Bursa Malaysia concluded 2017 on a relatively good note with positive aspects such as the stabilisation of crude oil prices, firmer ringgit, positive economic data and higher foreign fund inflow, lending support to the key index.
The FBM KLCI finished at a year high of 1,796.81 on Dec 29, up 155.08 points, or 9.45 per cent, from 1,641.73 at end-2016.
The year saw 14 initial public offerings compared to 12 the previous year.
A new board – Leading Entrepreneur Accelerator Platform (Leap) Market – was launched on July 26 to provide small and medium enterprises with an alternative and efficient fund-raising platform and visibility through the capital market.
As at December 31, two companies were listed on the new trading platform.
Tracking the movement of the key index during the year globally, the market barometer was influenced by the three increases in the US interest rates, geopolitical tensions between the US and North Korea, uncertainties surrounding US President Donald Trump’s tax reform and Wall Street performance.
Locally, speculation on an early 14th general election (GE14) has caused some impacts on the market barometer movement.
For the whole year, the benchmark FTSE Bursa Malaysia KLCI (FBM KLCI) was traded between 1,616.54 and (1,796.81) against between 1,600 and 1,727.99 in 2016.
Although the first trading day on January 2 registered the lowest reading of the year at 1,616.54, the key indicator somehow kicked off the year thereafter on a positive note, fuelled by the stronger crude oil prices and ringgit.
On Jan 2, benchmark Brent crude oil improved to over US$55 per barrel due to the Organisation of the Petroleum Exporting Countries’ (OPEC) output cut which came into effect on January 1, along with the stronger ringgit which was quoted at RM4.4873 against the greenback.
The market barometer continued its uptrend thereafter, touching an intraday high of 1,796.75 on June 16, after the US Federal Reserve (Fed) raised interest rates for the second time of the year on June 14.
The Fed increased the interest rates three times in 2017, raising from a range of 0.75 to one per cent on March 15, one to 1.25 per cent (June 14), and 1.25 to 1.50 per cent (December 13), and all the increases casting positive spillover effects on the the local bourse.
According to MIDF Research, foreigners had built a solid position on Bursa Malaysia in the first half of 2017 which saw the cumulative foreign buying on the local bourse surged substantially to RM10.2 billion in the same period, registering the highest among Southeast Asian peers.
However, the local bourse began to retreat to 1,759.93 on July 7 after touching the peak level on June 16, mainly weighed by profit-taking and weaker crude oil prices with Brent crude falling to between US$45.61 and US$46.47 per barrel during the period.
But the key index rebounded to close at 1,761.99 on July 24 when Brent crude climbed to US$48.18 a barrel, ahead of the talks between OPEC and non-OPEC members on further crude oil production cut.
A slew of better-than-expected economic data, such as gross domestic product growths of 5.6 and 5.8 per cent for the first and second quarters of the year, respectively, continued to lift the local bourse and pushed it to hit the second highest closing point of the year of 1,782.74 on September 11.
However, global equity markets, including Bursa Malaysia were affected by the geopolitical tension between the US and North Korea following the latter’s missile launches in September and November.— Bernama
Source: Borneo Post Online