FBM KLCI up 7.23 points on Petronas Gas jump; Asian shares rise

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KUALA LUMPUR (Jan 19): The FBM KLCI gained 7.23 points or 0.4%, helped by an eleventh-hour spike in Petronas Gas Bhd's share price. Malaysian shares also rose with Asian stock markets.

At Bursa Malaysia, the KLCI closed at its intraday high at 1,828.83 points. Petronas Gas rose 88 sen to RM18.20 to emerge as Bursa Malaysia's fourth-biggest gainer.

Across Bursa Malaysia, 3.83 billion shares worth RM3.19 billion changed hands. Across Asia, Japan’s Nikkei 225 rose 0.19%, Hong Kong’s Hang Seng climbed 0.41% while South Korea’s Kospi increased 0.18%.

Reuters reported that Asia stocks shook off losses on Wall Street and edged up to record highs on Friday following China's announcement of faster-than-expected fourth quarter growth, while worries over a possible US government shutdown weighed on the dollar. It was reported that most Southeast Asian stock markets firmed on Friday and were on track to end the week higher as broader Asian shares climbed to an all-time top on data that showed China's growth accelerated in 2017 for the first time in seven years.

In commodity markets, Reuters reported that global oil markets are tightening quickly on falling supply from Venezuela, which posted 2017's biggest unplanned output fall and could see a further decline in 2018, the International Energy Agency (IEA) said on Friday. Debt and infrastructure problems cut Venezuela's December output to 1.61 million barrels per day (bpd), somewhere near a 30-year low. That helped oil prices top US$70 per barrel in early January, their highest level in 3 years.

In Malaysia, Areca Capital Sdn Bhd chief executive officer Danny Wong Teck Meng told theedgemarkets.com that besides China numbers, the US improving economy also supported market sentiment.

“Gains at Wall Street is also mirrored in the Japan equities market. The US has already run up quite a bit — if the global economy grows, Asian markets will be the first to benefit,” said Wong.

It was reported that the US Dow Jones Industrial Average closed above 26,000 points for the first time on Wednesday (Jan 17), just eight trading days after it ended above 25,000 for the first time.