FBM KLCI up at intraday high after Petronas Chemicals spike

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KUALA LUMPUR (July 16): The FBM KLCI erased losses for a 4.74-point or 0.28% rise after Petronas Chemicals Group Bhd and Petronas Gas Bhd share prices spiked in the final trading minutes.

At 5pm, the KLCI closed at its intraday high at 1,726.67 points after falling to its intraday low at 1,717.17 points. The KLCI had earlier fallen after China said today its economy grew 6.7% in the second quarter of 2018 from a year earlier.

Reuters reported that the data points to a modest slowdown in the world's second-largest economy, as the government's multi-year efforts to tackle debt risks begin to weigh on growth and a trade war with the United States threatens exports. Analysts polled by Reuters had expected gross domestic product to expand 6.7 percent in the April-June quarter, slowing only marginally from 6.8 percent growth in the previous three quarters.

In Malaysia, analysts said foreign fund selling of Malaysian shares appeared to have eased as local institutional investors supported the market.

“The local fund buying are able to keep the index (KLCI) from falling further and subsequently move the index up. At this critical juncture, I can’t say the foreign funds would not pick up the selling again as it is quite possible, so I need to reserve comment on this part," Inter-Pacific Securities Sdn Bhd head of research Pong Teng Siew told theedgemarkets.com.

Petronas Chemicals and Petronas Gas shares rose to close among Bursa Malaysia's top gainers. Petronas Chemicals climbed 25 sen to RM8.87 while Petronas Gas added 16 sen to RM18.36.

The most-active stock was My E.G. Services Bhd with some 121 million shares traded. The stock rose 10.5 sen to RM1.01.