KLCI breaches 1,700 mark in final push for the year

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KUALA LUMPUR (Dec 31): The FBM KLCI crossed the crucial 1,700 mark at the midday break today in what appeared to be a final push by investors to end 2018 on a positive note.

Having said that, at 12.30pm, the FBM KLCI was up 8.32 points at 1,700.39, but still down some 96.42 points year-to-date.

Gainers led losers by 340 to 168, while 411 counters traded unchanged. Volume was 795.32 million shares worth RM449.29 million.

The top gainers included British American Tobacco (M) Bhd, Nestle (M) Bhd, Tenaga Nasional Bhd, Petronas Gas Bhd, UMW Holdings Bhd, LPI Capital Bhd, SAM Engineering & Equipment (M) Bhd and Gabungan AQRS Bhd.

The actives included Hubline Bhd, Sapura Energy Bhd, Destini Bhd, My EG Services Bhd, KNM Group Bhd, V.S. Industry Bhd and Permaju Industries Bhd.

The decliners included Fraser & Neave Holdings Bhd, Scientex Bhd, Ajinomoto (M) Bhd, PPB Group Bhd, Hartalega Holdings Bhd, Rapid Synergy Bhd, Encorp Bhd, Batu Kawan Bhd, Kobay Technology Bhd and Pintaras Jaya Bhd.

Malaysian and Singaporean stocks rose on Monday in thin year-end trading as a phone call between US and Chinese leaders spurred hopes that the two economic heavyweights would reach a deal that could ease their damaging trade standoff, according to Reuters.

While other markets in the region were shut, Singapore and Malaysia gained modestly, in line with their Asian peers, as investors appeared to take heart from a possible Sino-US deal at the end of a tumultuous year, the newswire said.

Affin Hwang Capital Research said Asian markets were expected to trade mixed with slight upward bias, and year-end window dressing was anticipated to continue.

"The FBM KLCI Index expected to close the last day of the year on (a) high note, despite volatility in the global market. Accumulate quality stocks on price weakness.

"Anticipate FBM KLCI Index to test the short-term resistance in the near future," the research house said.