FBM KLCI extends gains as China-US trade war hits sentiment

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KUALA LUMPUR (Aug 23): The FBM KLCI rose 8.25 points or 0.46%, possibly, on Malaysian institutional investor support as China-US trade war concerns hit world market sentiment.

At Bursa Malaysia, the KLCI settled at 1,806.36 points at 12:30pm. Malaysian markets resumed trading today after local markets were closed yesterday (Aug 22) for the Hari Raya Haji holiday. Today, the KLCI extended gains after rising 10.53 points to close at 1,798.11 on Tuesday (Aug 21).

Today, TA Securities Holdings Bhd wrote in a note: "Local funds support helped the benchmark index extend gains on Tuesday ahead of a religious holiday, encouraged by hopes US-China trade talks will lessen the adverse tariffs impact on global trade. The KLCI climbed 10.53 points to close at the day's high of 1,798.11, off an early low of 1,788.86, but losers beat gainers 549 to 378 on higher turnover of 2.52 billion shares worth RM2.43 billion.

"Despite the strong rise seen on the FBM KLCI, aided by buying support on key blue-chip heavyweights, the negative market breadth and lacking retail participation should restrict further upside potential," TA said.

The China-US trade war and US President Donald Trump's political position are crucial highlights for world markets. Reuters reported that Asian shares slipped on Thursday as a deadline loomed for fresh US tariffs on China and amid speculation Trump's political position could be threatened by the legal woes of two former advisers.

It was reported that US and Chinese officials met for the first time in over two months to find a way out of their deepening trade conflict, but there was no evidence the low-level discussions would halt a new round of US tariffs due Thursday. MSCI's broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan eased 0.1%. Hong Kong's Hang Seng index fell 0.5% while South Korea's Kospi eased 0.1%.