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High level of uncertainty expected over Trump’s inauguration – The Malaysian Reserve
THE inauguration of Donald Trump on Jan 20 brings a high level of uncertainty as his actions will determine the course of Malaysian economy, analysts say. Most analysts and economists stated that 2016 was quite a roller-coaster ride for the local equity market and currency, suffering a series of worst scenarios from various issues from IMalaysia Development Bhd, worries about a flight of capital from emerging markets amid rising US interest rates, as well as political results of Brexit and Trump’s victory. “The policies and actions of President-elect Trump after Jan 20 are likely to be the most-watched events, in 2017 that could have an impact, positive or otherwise, on equity markets globally,” RHB Investment Bank Bhd regional head equity capital markets Gan Kim Khoon told The Malaysian Reserve (TMR). Following the result of the presidential election on Nov 8, the FTSE Bursa Malaysia (FBM) KLCI declined to below 1,620 points for the first time since June and the ringgit slipped 0.5% to RM4.22 against the dollar, its lowest level since Jan 27. On Jan 5 this year, the ringgit touched 4.5002 against the greenback, the lowest level since 1998 during the height of the Asian financial crisis. Up to last week, the ringgit has lost 5.53% of its value against the US dollar since Nov 9, making it the second worst-performing currency in Asia after the yen. iFAST Capital Sdn Bhd research analyst Lee Tien Xiang believes that consequently, the US dollar might strengthen further, causing more foreign funds to flow out from Malaysia. “Once he officially becomes the 45th president of the US, one of the major headwinds that will affect the performance of the local equity market will be the actions that Trump will take, regarding trade policies and the major fiscal stimulus,” Lee told TMR when contacted recently.

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