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Malaysia stock market, ringgit bounce back from post-election jitters; removal of GST still among worries

Malaysia stock market, ringgit bounce back from post-election jitters; removal of GST still among worries

MALAYSIA’s Kuala Lumpur Composite Index (KLCI) and the ringgit were roiled on Monday, the first day of trading after a two-day market break imposed by the newly-minted government.

Malaysia’s stock market fell 1.7 per cent after trading opened on Monday, while its currency dropped 0.9 per cent, in the first session since the stunning election defeat of the coalition that had ruled the country for six decades. The ringgit slipped as much as 0.91 per cent against the Singapore dollar as at 9.30am on Monday, to touch 2.99 per Singdollar, and fell by 0.69 per cent against the US currency to nearly 3.98 per US dollar in early Monday trade, the highest since November 2016.

Former prime minister Mahathir Mohamad led opposition coalition Pakatan Harapan (PH) to a surprise election victory, which then raised concerns over his campaign promises to drop the goods and services tax (GST) within 100 days, and bring back fuel subsidies. He also wants to review large-scale investment projects awarded during predecessor Najib Razak’s term.

But at 11.19am, the KLCI had rallied to erase its earlier losses, trading at 1,853.94 as at 11.15am, up 0.4 per cent or 7.43 points.