Dec 11, 2014

    Malaysia stocks lead the pack in S-E Asia rally


    THE Malaysian stock market led the gains in South-east Asia yesterday, rebounding from a 15-month low in the previous session to post its biggest one-day gain since May.

    The Malaysian main index closed up 1.6 per cent, with analysts saying the falls of the past few days due to concerns over falling oil prices made the stocks attractive and prompted investors to start accumulating selectively.

    The Business Times reported that the Kuala Lumpur Composite Index added 27.42 points to close at 1,765.52.

    Some 1.21 billion lots, valued at RM1.61 billion (S$610 million) were traded. Gainers numbered 502 while losers numbered 281.

    Latex products manufacturer Hartalega Holdings rose 1.5 per cent after Maybank IB Research upgraded the stock to "buy" and raised its target price, citing the company's earnings profile and saying it was benefiting from a stronger United States dollar.

    Telecommunications company Axiata Group gained 4.5 per cent, rebounding from its lowest in nearly seven months, hit in the previous session.

    In Indonesia, a rally in blue chips helped the main stock index rise 0.8 per cent. Credit-rating agency Moody's said yesterday that Indonesia would benefit from lower oil prices.

    "Those that are battling high inflation and large oil subsidy bills, such as Indonesia and India, will benefit most from a lower price environment," Moody's said in a statement.

    Shares in the country's second-largest lender by assets, Bank Rakyat Indonesia, rose 2.9 per cent.

    Indonesian brokerage Danareksa reiterated its "buy" rating on the stock, citing a "well-managed deposits structure and resilient margins".

    Singapore and Vietnam rose modestly, but the Philippines edged down, bucking the regional trend.

    The Straits Times Index gained 5.97 points to 3,325.81. Some 1.2 billion shares, valued at $1.11 billion, were traded. Gainers numbered 247 while losers numbered 172.

    The Thai stock market was closed yesterday for a public holiday and will reopen today.