KLCI rises 0.55% on US-China trade relief

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KUALA LUMPUR (Jan 18): The FBM KLCI closed higher for the second day running today following a news report that the Trump administration is considering easing tariffs imposed on Chinese imports.

The benchmark index closed up 9.25 points or 0.55 % at 1,692.22.

TA Securities Holdings Bhd technical analyst Steven Soo said the market’s performance was boosted by the report on the possible lifting by the US of the tariffs levied against China.  

Soo said the rise in oil prices after the Organisation of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) members reported the biggest monthly drop in production in nearly two years also served as a positive catalyst to the stock market.

“Should the market sentiment improve from here, the psychological resistant levels to watch are the 1,700 level, and this followed by 1,722 to 1,742 level,” Soo told theedgemarkets.com, adding that the key support level to look at is 1,680.

The Wall Street Journal reported yesterday that US Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin discussed lifting some or all tariffs imposed on Chinese imports and suggested offering a tariff rollback during trade discussions scheduled for Jan 30.

Some 3.05 billion shares worth RM 2.12 billion were traded on Bursa Malaysia today, with gainers leading losers by 450 to 341, while 429 counters closed unchanged.

Top gainers included Heineken Malaysia Bhd, Carlsberg Brewery Malaysia Bhd and United Plantation Bhd.

Among top decliners were Chin Teck Plantations Bhd, Lysaght Galvanized Steel Bhd and Muhibbah Engineering Bhd.  

CNBC reported that Asia Pacific markets traded mostly higher today as investors cheered the WSJ report, with the Shanghai Stock Exchange Composite closing up 1.42%, and Hong Kong's Hang Seng up 1.25%.

In Japan, the Nikkei 225 rose 1.29% while South Korea's Kospi gained 0.82%.

According to Bloomberg data, Brent crude price rose 0.51% to US$61.51 per barrel, while US West Texas Intermediate was up 0.65% at US$52.41 per barrel as at 5.30pm.