Malaysian stocks rally after ruling party wins

Malaysian stocks soared as much as 7.76 percent to a record high Monday as investors welcomed the ruling coalition's election victory, before profit-taking pared gains later in the session.

The market was up 50.50 points, or 3.0 percent, at 1,745.27 in mid-morning trade, after hitting a high of 1,826 points early Monday.

The Barisan Nasional (National Front) coalition retained its 56-year hold on power with a comfortable majority in Sunday's general election despite a stiff opposition challenge.

Ooi Chin Hock, a dealer with M & A Securities, said the market had expected Barisan Nasional, which has ruled Malaysia since independence, to do worse.

"It is a show of confidence in the ruling coalition," he said.

He said investors were bargain hunting and expected the gains to taper off during the next few days.

Prime Minister Najib Razak's Barisan Nasional won 133 of 222 parliamentary seats, promising to push ahead with its economic agenda to seek investment and boost spending to develop the country.

Opposition leader Anwar Ibrahim's Pakatan Rakyat (People's Pact) had vowed to undo privileges enjoyed by majority ethnic Malays and crack down on monopolies and close ties between the ruling elite and some business tycoons.

More than 80 percent of voters -- a record turnout of over 10 million -- cast their ballots Sunday in the most fiercely contested national election the country has ever seen.