Malaysian stocks rebound as PM takes off for China

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KUALA LUMPUR (Aug 17): Malaysian stocks closed higher today with the FBM KLCI up 6.2 points or 0.35% at 1,783.47 points, but underperforming its regional peers as investors here remained in profit-taking mode.

"The big event to watch out for next week will be the prime minister's official visit to China," TA Securities senior technical analyst Stephen Soo told theedgemarkets.com.

He opined that the market is likely to continue trading sideways as investors await signals from the visit, amid global economic concerns.

"The momentum going forward may be softer, with the benchmark index likely to test the downside support level of 1,750 points," he said, adding that the upcoming mid-week Hari Raya Haji holiday may also result in lower participation and that the index faces a substantial resistance level of 1,805 points.

Market breadth was positive today with 410 gainers outpacing 370 decliners. A total of 2 billion shares were crossed for RM2.04 billion.

QES Group Bhd, Inari Amerton Bhd and Euro Holdings Bhd were the most active stocks. Gainers were led by British American Tobacco (Malaysia) Bhd, IQ Group Holdings Bhd and Malaysian Pacific Industries Bhd, while the top losers were Nestle (Malaysia) Bhd, Ajinomoto (Malaysia) Bhd and Lysaght Galvanized Steel Bhd.

Regionally, Asian stocks rebounded from hitting fresh one-year lows yesterday after investors appeared buoyed by news that the US and China had resumed lower level talks on trade tensions.

The Turkish lira also continued to recover after plunging to a record low earlier this week, Reuters highlighted.

MSCI's broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan rose 0.46%, while Japan's Nikkei ended the week up 0.35% and Hang Seng index also finished up 0.42%.