Select blue chips lift KLCI to 0.4% gain

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KUALA LUMPUR (Feb 16): The FBMKLCI gained 7.94 points or 0.44% on increases in select blue chip stocks, settling at 1,808.89 points at market close.

Danny Wong, CEO of Areca Capital Sdn Bhd, said the index’s rise was supported by gains in select index-linked counters, amid better sentiment after the government announced the gross domestic product (GDP) growth forecast for 2015 and the GDP growth for 2014.

“The rise in the KLCI was contributed by blue chips like Petronas Dagangan Bhd and Felda Global Ventures Holdings Bhd.

“The overall sentiment in the market is also slightly better, after the GDP announcement by the central bank,” Wong said.

Last week, Bank Negara Malaysia announced that Malaysia’s economy grew last year at its fastest pace since 2010, expanding at an annual 6% in 2014, compared to 4.7% in 2013.  

However, Wong expects trading volume to remain thin for the week, as the Malaysian market will be closed for the Chinese New Year holidays on Thursday and Friday.

Across the board, the exchange saw some 2.06 billion shares worth RM2.12 billion changed hands. Gainers beat decliners at 452 versus 352, while 321 counters were unchanged.

Among the gainers were index-linked counters such as Petronas Dagangan Bhd and Felda Global Ventures Holdings Bhd, while the decliners were led by Hong Leong Capital Bhd. The most active stock was Perisai Petroleum Teknologi Bhd.

The ringgit was trading at 3.58 per US dollar, and 2.6398 against the Singapore dollar.

In Asia, Japan’s Nikkei gained 0.7%, while South Korea’s Kospi rose 0.04%.

Reuters reported that Japanese shares touched an eight-year high on Monday following a record close on Wall Street, with investors cautiously optimistic the European Union would make progress this week on a debt deal with Greece.

MSCI's broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan recouped a small initial loss to inch ahead 0.1 percent to 483.90. The index boasted its highest close since late October on Friday but is bumping up against a major band of chart resistance in the 484 to 486 area.