Market rebounds

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The local stock market rebounded on April 9, after two days of losses, following overnight gains on Wall Street and ahead of the Prime Minister’s announcement on the new Cabinet line-up, which was announced in the afternoon. Sentiment across Asia was also boosted by positive economic news from Japan. Japan's stock market rallied from an unexpectedly positive reading on core machinery orders, which rose 1.4% month-on-month in February 2009 after four months of contractions – and well above expectations of a 7.9% drop. The data is a gauge of capital expenditure and could suggest business spending is nearing bottom.Investor sentiment has improved over the last month as economic data – initially from the US but also now increasingly from elsewhere – start to show signs of a bottoming for the US and global economy. This has made investors more confident of investing in equities again, as economists are finally seeing some light at the end of the long dark tunnel. The sustainability of global markets’ recent gains – and scope for more – will depend on upcoming US economic data. They will either help confirm or dispel investors’ recent optimism about the economy, noting that Wall Street has built in very strong expectations of a recovery later this year. The KLCI was in positive territory the whole day. The KLCI ended 10 points higher at 917.9. Market breadth was positive with advancing stocks beating declining ones by a 2.7-to-one margin. Trading volume was high with 715 million shares changing hands. Actively traded stocks include Maybank-OR, Johan, KNM, MRCB, Berjaya Corp, Resorts, TM and Mulpha. Major gainers include Tanjong plc, LPI, KL Kepong, MAS and Kossan. Losers include Wijaya, DKSH and UPA. Meanwhile, crude palm oil prices surged over 4% to above RM2,250 per tonne in the afternoon session.