KLCI rises, tracking Asian markets, on foreign funds inflow

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KUALA LUMPUR (Mar 30): The FBM KLCI closed 0.47% higher in tandem with Asian markets and largely on inflows of foreign funds.

At the closing bell, the KLCI was up 8.46 points at 1,821.83 points.

Stocks like TAHPS Group Bhd and Syarikat Takaful Malaysia Bhd were among the top gainers today.

“Locally, the main catalyst would be the climb of local telco counters such as DiGi and Astro,” a fund manager told theedgemarkets.com.

He said that these are the defensive stocks that investors look to acquire as the current market is uncertain with the goods and services tax (GST) looming.

DiGi.com Bhd finished 2.26% or 14 sen higher at RM6.33 today while Astro Malaysia Holdings Bhd climbed 2.90% or 9 sen to close at RM3.19.

On the climb of other indices in the region, he said the Fed announcement also suggested that the increase in the US interest rates would not come so soon.

“There is still time for foreign funds [to flow into the Asian region].”

The local bourse saw 1.92 billion shares worth some RM1.709 billion traded today, with gainers outpacing losers at 400 to 383. About 340 counters remained unchanged.

Privasia Technology Bhd was the most actively traded stock. The counter climbed 9.59% or 3.5 sen to close at 40 sen, after 105.19 million shares changed hands.

Top gainers included Rapid Synergy Bhd, Heveaboard Bhd, Petronas Dagangan Bhd, Hartalega Holdings Bhd and Ipmuda Bhd.

Top decliners were Kuala Lumpur Kepong Bhd, British American Tobacco (Malaysia) Bhd, Hong Leong Financial Group Bhd, Amway (Malaysia) Holdings Bhd, Panasonic  Manufacturing Malaysia Bhd, Warisan TC Holdings Bhd, Lafarge Malaysia Bhd, New Hoong Fatt Holdings Bhd, Grand Central Enterprises Bhd and IJM Corporation Bhd.

Japan’s Nikkei 225 climbed 0.65% while Hong Kong’s Hang Seng Index rose 1.51% today.

Asian stock markets rose while China stocks neared a seven-year peak on hopes for more infrastructure spending and policy stimulus, while oil prices suffered further from excess supply, Reuters reported today.

Activity was guarded most elsewhere in a week book-ended with holidays and a US jobs report that could affect the timing of interest rate hikes there, said the news agency.

It added that most Southeast Asian stock markets rose today as inflows from end-quarter portfolios boosted select large caps, with the Philippine index rising to a record high and oversold Thai shares rebounding from recent losses.