KLCI advances 0.79% as regional markets tick higher

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KUALA LUMPUR (Dec 19): The FBM KLCI rose 0.79% at mid-morning on Friday as regional markets ticked upward following the overnight surge at Wall Street.

At 10am, the FBM KLCI rose 13.54 points to 1,713.49.

The top gainers included British American Tobacco (M) Bhd, Malaysia Airports Holdings Bhd, United Plantations Bhd, Genting Plantations Bhd, Hong Leong Financial Group Bhd, Malayan Bankinng Bhd, Petronas Dagangan Bhd and Public Bank Bhd.

The actives included Sumatec Resources Bhd, Minetech Resources Bhd, KNM Group Bhd, Perisai Petroleum Teknologi Bhd, Bumi Armada Bhd and IFCA MSC Bhd.

The decliners included Asia File Corporation Bhd, PPB Group Bhd, Hong Leong Bank Bhd, Air Asia Bhd and Tan Chong Motor Holdings Bhd.

Japanese stocks led Asian markets higher on Friday, after Wall Street boasted its biggest two-day advance since late 2011 amid relief the Federal Reserve was in no rush to start hiking interest rates, according to Reuters.

The gains came even as oil stayed under pressure, suggesting equity investors were beginning to see the positives in lower fuel costs and increased consumer spending power, it said.

JF Apex Securities Research said U.S. stocks rallied overnight with the Dow industrials climbing more than 400 points for the first time in three years, as investors applauded the Federal Reserve's pledge that it would be patient in increasing interest rates.

Similarly, it said European shares closed sharply higher with global sentiment boosted after the U.S. Federal Reserve said it had confidence in the economy.

“On the local market, the FBM KLCI surged 18.05 points to 1699.95 points.

“Asian equities are called higher on the final trading day of the week following an inspiring U.S. lead overnight.

“Following the bullish performance in global markets, we expect the KLCI to extend its gains today but any upside might be capped by worries on the resumption of decline of crude oil price,” it said.