FBM KLCI closes higher on last-minute spike

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KUALA LUMPUR (Aug 23): The FBM KLCI rose 12.76 points or 0.7% today, buoyed by select blue-chip stocks, despite the continued pressure of US-China trade tensions dominating the sentiment of regional investors.

The benchmark index closed at 1,810.87 points after touching its intraday low of 1,799.57 points. The index closed at 1,787.58 points on Monday, and at 1,798.1 on Tuesday.

"Panasonic (Manufacturing Malaysia Bhd), BAT (British American Tobacco (Malaysia) Bhd) and Public Bank (Bhd) are among the counters which helped the FBM KLCI on [its] last-minute spike," TA Securities senior technical analyst Stephen Soo told theedgemarkets.com, adding the FBM KLCI today has "outperformed" expectations.

Reuters reported that investors were staying on the sidelines as China-US trade talks were underway and the US Federal Reserve held its annual symposium in Jackson Hole.

US and Chinese officials met for the first time in over two months to find a way out of their deepening trade conflict, but there was no evidence the low-level discussions would halt a new round of US tariffs.

Though Soo expects there to be some optimism on US-China talks, he noted that sentiment in the broader market was mixed.

Japan's Nikkei 225 grew 0.22% today, while Hong Kong's Hang Seng Index fell 0.49%; South Korea's Kospi gained 0.41%.

Moving forward, Soo said the local index will face major resistance at the 1,824 and 1,851 levels, while the downside support will be at 1,780 level.

"As it (FBM KLCI) goes higher, I believe there will be an increase in selling interest from profit-taking," he said.

Across Bursa Malaysia, top gainers included Allianz Malaysia Bhd-ICPS, BAT and Panasonic. The most-active stock was My E.G. Services Bhd.

Market breadth was mildly positive, as gainers surpass losers at 485 to 418 stocks, while 995 counters remain unchanged.

Trading volume decreased to 2.22 billion worth RM2.44 billion compared with 2.52 billion shares worth RM2.43 billion on Tuesday.