FBM KLCI makes about-turn to close in the black, lifted by stronger investors' sentiments

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KUALA LUMPUR (Oct 24): The FBM KLCI made an about-turn to close up 0.7% today, as investors' sentiments lifted the market following the wrap-up of the improved third-quarter corporate earnings season, while the ringgit strengthened 0.1% to RM4.2332 to US dollar.

The benchmark index closed 11.71 points higher at 1724.84 points, after 1.84 billion shares were transacted for a total value of RM2.23 billion.

In contrast, the index was at 1712.85 during the afternoon, down 0.28 points from the closing level of 1713.13 yesterday, after reaching an intra-morning low of 1,708.48 points.

Areka Capital Sdn Bhd chief executive officer Danny Wong expects the index to hover at its latest price level for the next two weeks, pending the restrategising of portfolios by fund managers on the last week of December.

The benchmark index's performance reflects 3Q17 results, he said, which were much better than 2Q as most came out above expectations, amid improving oil prices, an expectation that the country's budget deficit will trend lower than 3% by year-end, and a potentially stronger ringgit.

“We feel the market will interest local investors but not foreign funds, due to the upcoming general elections. As such, I don’t see the index going anywhere till the end of the year,” he told theedgemarkets.com

Across Asia, Reuters reported that shares dipped slightly on Tuesday as investors’ rotation out of technology shares took a toll on some of the region’s tech heavyweights, although hopes of a major tax cut in the United States underpinned risk sentiment.

Reuters wrote that MSCI’s broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan was down 0.2%, driven by a fall in technology shares such as Tencent Holdings Ltd and Alibaba Group Holding Ltd.

Japan's Nikkei slipped 0.4%, with semi-conductor related shares leading losses, while mainland China's start-up board dropped almost 3% to its lowest level in four months, Reuters added.

Back home, losers outpaced gainers with 541 counters to 298, while 435 counters remained unchanged.

Gainers comprised Hong Leong Bank Bhd, Hong Leong Financial Group Bhd and Petron Malaysia Refining & Refining Marketing Bhd, while the losers board were led by Malaysian Pacific Industries Bhd, Magni-Tech Industries Bhd and United U-Li Corp Bhd.

The most active counter of the day — Trive Property Group Bhd — slid one sen or 18.18% to 4.5 sen, after 100.86 million shares were transacted, giving it a market capitalisation of RM81.41 million.