KLCI up 15.86 points to close at all-time high amid commodity gains

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KUALA LUMPUR (April 19): The FBM KLCI jumped at the 11th-hour for a 15.86-point or 0.8% rise to close at its record high amid an uptrend in aluminium and crude oil prices. At 5pm, the KLCI closed at 1,895.18.

The KLCI, at current levels, is not far from its record intraday high at 1,896.23 seen in July 2014.

Today, Rakuten Trade Sdn Bhd vice president of research Vincent Lau told the theedgemarkets.com that market optimism was driven by higher aluminium and crude oil prices.

“The stronger commodity prices are putting the synchronised global growth story back into spotlight especially for countries like Malaysia. With oil prices hovering near the US$75 per barrel level, it’s good for the country’s economy as we are still a net oil exporter,” Lau said.

Reuters reported that oil prices rose on Thursday to their highest since late 2014 as US crude inventories declined, moving closer to five-year averages, and after sources told Reuters top exporter Saudi Arabia is seeking to push oil prices higher. Brent crude oil futures rallied as high as US$74.44 a barrel, the strongest since Nov 27, 2014, the day that OPEC decided to pump as much as it could to defend market share, sending the price to a low of US$27 just over a year later.

Today, it was also reported that aluminium prices surged as much as 5 percent to their highest level in almost seven years on Thursday amid enduring concerns over strained global supply following US sanctions on major Russian producer Rusal, with similar worries also spurring nickel. Three-month aluminium on the London Metal Exchange climbed as high as US$2,664.50 a tonne, its loftiest since August 2011, and was trading at US$2,626.50 by 0521 GMT, up 3.5 percent.

At Bursa Malaysia today, the KLCI's top gainer in percentage terms was Press Metal Aluminium Holdings Bhd. after the stock rose 3.98% to RM5.23. Petronas Dagangan Bhd was the KLCI's third-largest advancer after the stock climbed 3.13% to RM27.70.