KLCI up on last-minute spike as Bursa small caps fall

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KUALA LUMPUR (April 12): The FBM KLCI jumped 3.73 points or 0.2% on last-minute buying in blue-chip stocks Kuala Lumpur Kepong Bhd (KLK), Petronas Gas Bhd, Hong Leong Bank Bhd and Hong Leong Financial Group Bhd.

At 5pm, the KLCI erased losses to settle at 1,873.62 after falling to its intraday low at 1,865.14 as news of a possible US military strike in Syria hit Asian market sentiment.

In Malaysia, Inter-Pacific Securities Sdn Bhd head of research Pong Teng Siew told theedgemarkets.com: “It doesn’t change the fact that there was profit taking in the earlier part and we always come across last-minute surprises like this. Hong Leong Bank, Hong Leong Financial, Petronas Gas helped to push up the index in the last minutes.

“On the other hand, small caps still remained in profit-taking mode.”

At 5pm, Bursa Malaysia's small-cap index fell 85.09 points or 0.56% to close at 14,963.97.

Across Bursa Malaysia, 3.27 billion shares worth RM2.34 billion changed hands. KLK, Petronas Gas, Hong Leong Bank and Hong Leong Financial closed among the top gainers.

The KLCI had earlier fallen with Asian shares. Reuters reported that global stocks came under pressure on Thursday as the threat of imminent US military action in Syria rattled investors and sent oil prices to their highest levels since late 2014 on concerns about potential disruptions to supply and distribution.

Across Asian share markets, Japan’s Nikkei 225 was down 0.12%, South Korea's Kospi fell 0.06% while Hong Kong's Hang Seng decreased 0.22%.