KUALA LUMPUR (Nov 8): The FBM KLCI ended up 0.4 point or 0.02% at 1,609.73 today after paring gains shortly after a spike in the final trading hour.
The KLCI spike followed Bank Negara Malaysia's (BNM) announcement that the statutory reserve requirement (SRR) ratio for banks will be lowered from 3.5% to 3% effective from Nov 16.
BNM said today in a statement the move aims to maintain sufficient liquidity in the domestic financial system. At Bursa Malaysia, the KLCI spiked to its intraday high at 1,614.19 in the final trading hour after falling to its intraday low at 1,606.02.
Analysts said banking shares reacted positively to the news as a lower SRR ratio meant financial institutions would have more money to lend to borrowers.
Nomura head of equity research for Malaysia Tushar Mohata told theedgemarkets.com the KLCI was boosted at the 11th hour mainly by banks' share price rise.
The list includes KLCI-linked banks Public Bank Bhd and CIMB Group Holdings Bhd.
"The slight pick up seen in KLCI today was due to BNM cutting the SRR ratio from 3.5% to 3%," the analyst said.
At Bursa, a late jump in Public Bank's share price helped the stock reach its intraday high of RM20.20. At the 5pm market close, Public Bank pared gains at RM19.94 for an eight sen or 0.4% rise.
Across Stock Exchange, the turnover stood at 3.11 billion shares worth RM2.15 billion. Top gainers included VSTECS Bhd and CIMB Group Holdings Bhd as world markets took cue from US-China trade talks.
Reuters reported that Asian stocks retreated from six-month highs on Friday as conflicting signals from China and the US made progress in trade talks deflated market hopes of a near term deal to end their damaging tariff war.
It was reported that Friday's market moves in contrast to Thursday's surge in global markets on Beijing and China news have agreed to roll back tariffs on each others' goods as part of the first phase of a trade deal.
"Multiple sources familiar with the talks said the plan faced fierce internal opposition at the White House and from outside advisers. Worries the pact could fall apart as there was still no specific agreement for a phased rollback prompting some investors to sell heading into the weekend, "Reuters reported.