KLCI up 18.36pts at intraday high

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KUALA LUMPUR (July 13): The FBM KLCI rose 18.36 points or 1.08% as Asian shares tracked US equity gains amid US-China trade war concerns. In Malaysia, analysts said investors could have also taken cue from Bank Negara Malaysia's optimism over the nation's economic growth besides the central bank's dovish comments.

At Bursa Malaysia, the KLCI closed at its intraday high at 1,721.93 points. The KLCI extended gains today after rising 14.8 points yesterday (July 12). On Wednesday (July 11), Bank Negara said its monetary policy committee decided to maintain the overnight policy rate at 3.25%.

"Overall, the Malaysian economy is expected to remain on a steady growth path. Headline inflation for 2018 is projected to be lower than earlier forecast taking into consideration the impact of recent policy measures on domestic cost factors," Bank Negara said.

Today, TA Securities Holdings Bhd wrote in a note: "Improving buying momentum (in the stock market) encouraged by optimism over economic growth, and dovish comments from Bank Negara on tame inflation should shift concerns over the US-China trade war to the back-burner."

Rakuten Trade Sdn Bhd vice president of research Vincent Lau told theedgemarkets.com that value is seen emerging in the KLCI following its recent decline.

"A lot of the negatives have been priced into the earlier selldown. I think the market is also optimistic of a potential talk between the US and China on trade after a less vocal response by Beijing following the announcement of a new tariff on US$200 billion of Chinese imports," Lau said.

Asian shares rose. Japan's Nikkei 225 climbed 1.85% while South Korea's Kospi was up by 1.13%. Hong Kong's Hang Seng was 0.16% higher.

Reuters reported that Asian shares extended their recovery on Friday as investors shifted their focus to bullish expectations for Wall Street earnings and as a weaker yen supported Japanese stocks, though Sino-US trade tensions have tempered exuberance.