KLCI up as banks, telcos lend support

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KUALA LUMPUR (March 16): The FBM KLCI increased 1.12 points or 0.1% as index-linked banking and telecommunication stocks rose.

At 5pm, the KLCI closed at 1,846.39 on gains in stocks including Hong Leong Financial Group, RHB Bank Bhd, Maxis Bhd and Telekom Malaysia Bhd. The KLCI erased losses after falling to its intraday low at 1,838.40 along with Asian share markets.

Across Asia, Japan’s Nikkei 225 closed 0.58% lower while Hong Kong's Hang Seng fell 0.12%. South Korea's Kospi erased losses to rise 0.06%. Reuters reported that Asian stocks slid on Friday as reports of more chaos in the Trump administration tested investors' nerves, already frayed by fears that US tariffs could hurt the global economy and trigger a trade war.

In Malaysia, Malacca Securities Sdn Bhd head of research Victor Wan told theedgemarkets.com that investors remain cautious on a possible global trade war due to US' proposed import taxes.

“Unfortunately there is less positivity at this point. People are looking at whether interest rates will be raised or whether the potential trade war could be weighing on the market at this point. Whenever the US sneezes, the whole world gets the flu — that sort of sentiment is spreading around the world,” Wan said.