KLCI breaks through 1,800 psychological level

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KUALA LUMPUR (Oct 20): The FBM KLCI broke through the 1,800 psychological-level today, reversing last week’s selldown that saw the benchmark index hitting a low of 1,767.77 points last Thursday.

At 5pm, FBM KLCI closed 14.83 points or 0.8% higher to 1,803.14 points, driven by gains in heavyweight blue chips such as SapuraKencana Petroleum Bhd, YTL Corp Bhd and AMMB Holdings Bhd.

Despite the rebound, JF Apex Securities’ senior analyst Lee Cherng Wee told TheEdge Markets.com that the FBM KLCI still lacked strong local catalysts, noting the index had actually taken a dip in afternoon trades, following weak opening in the European markets.

“Investors are still taking cues from external factors,” he added.

Nevertheless, TA Securities,in a note today, expects the benchmark index to "recover" and undergo the "usual fourth quarter rally", in view of the still ample liquidity in the local market and the absence of any serious capital flight.

Across Bursa Malaysia, a total of 2.05 billion shares, worth RM2.2 billion were transacted today. Gainers thumped decliners by 569 versus 305, while 261 counters were unchanged.

Top gainers included United Plantations Bhd, Aeon Credit Service (M) Bhd, and interestingly concrete products manufacturer Multi-Usage Holdings Bhd, which was up 30 sen or 19.48% to RM1.84.

The leading decliners were Hong Leong Financial Group Bhd and British American Tobacco (M) Bhd.

The most active counter was Sumatec Resources Bhd, with close to 100 million shares traded.

Elsewhere, Reuters reported Japanese stocks led a rally in Asia on Monday, after solid US data and earnings calmed tumult in global financial markets and reassured investors worried about the health of the world economy.

Meanwhile, the Thomson Reuters/University of Michigan index of US consumer sentiment was surprisingly strong in early October, rising to more than a seven-year high.

Other data also showed new housing starts rose more than expected last month, suggesting US economic growth was solid.

Japan’s Nikkei 225 was up 3.98% at 15,111.23, while South Korea’s Kospi rose 1.55% to 1,930.06. The Shanghai-Shenzhen CSI 300 Index also ended 0.53% higher at 2,454.71 points and Hong Kong’s Hang Seng closed 0.2% higher at 23,070.26. Singapore’s Straits Times Index closed 0.4% higher at 3,181.05 points.