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Malaysian Stocks Rise to 11-Week High on Foreign Fund Purchases

Malaysian stocks jumped, driving the benchmark index to an 11-week high after exchange data showed foreign funds bought shares for a fourth consecutive month.

The FTSE Bursa Malaysia KLCI Index climbed 1 percent to 1,685 at the close in Kuala Lumpur, the highest level since Jan. 15. The gain was the biggest among benchmark gauges in Asia. The gauge’s trading volumes were about 13 percent above the 30-day average, data compiled by Bloomberg show.

International funds bought 4.8 billion ringgit ($1.6 billion) more Malaysian stocks than they sold in March, compared with net sales of 2.4 billion ringgit by local funds, according to data on Bursa Malaysia Bhd.’s website. The KLCI Index rallied 3.9 percent from a three-week low on March 18.

“Foreign funds are pushing up stocks and I think local funds have to participate,” Lye Thim Loong, who helps manage the equivalent of $500 million at Libra Invest Bhd., said by phone. It looks like investors are not paying attention to election concerns, he said.

The KLCI declined 1.3 percent this year through yesterday on concern about political risks from impending general elections. Prime Minister Najib Razak may dissolve parliament tomorrow, the New Straits Times reported today, citing people it didn’t name.

Tenaga Nasional Bhd., the nation’s biggest power producer, advanced 5.1 percent to the highest close since January 2008. British American Tobacco Malaysia Bhd. gained 4.9 percent, while Genting Bhd. climbed 2 percent.

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