FBM KLCI catches up with regional uptrend

FBM KLCI catches up with regional uptrend
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KUALA LUMPUR (Dec 17): Given the continued positive sentiment arising from the growing optimism on the China-US trade war, the FBM KLCI closed higher today, up 7.6 points or 0.48% at 1,576.95 points.

The benchmark index hit an intraday low of 1,564.25 today.

Reuters reported that Asian share prices were higher today, buoyed by trade deal optimism, and Wall Street's streak to all-time highs supported sentiment, while familiar fears of a hard Brexit knocked the pound.

The preliminary deal between Washington and Beijing will double the US exports to China, White House adviser Larry Kudlow told Fox News on Monday, according to Reuters, adding that the US will also trim tariffs on Chinese goods under the agreement.

It is not yet signed, and the Chinese side have been more circumspect in their praise, but US Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer said over the weekend it is "totally done", Reuters wrote.

TA Securities Holdings Bhd's senior technical analyst Stephen Soo said the KLCI closed higher, thanks to late buying on selected heavyweights namely Top Glove Corp Bhd, Tenaga Nasional Bhd plus some plantation and banking stocks in the last trading hour.

"I believe the market sentiment remains quite cautious despite the more buoyant mood externally," Soo told theedgemarkets.com. He noted that on the local front, players want to see more substantial policy announcements.

With the divergence between FBM KLCI and the regional trend seen in the past two days, Soo said it should narrow moving into the first quarter of next year, with 1,550 points as the new support level.

Among the 30 component stocks, the top gainers are led by Top Glove, Maxis Bhd and Hartalega Holdings Bhd.

Top Glove went up 21 sen or 4.72% to close at RM4.66 today, followed by Maxis, which gained 13 sen or 2.56% to close at RM5.21, and Hartalega, which climbed 12 sen or 2.35% to RM5.22.

On the broader market, Tan Sri Lim Kang Ho-linked stocks Ekovest Bhd and Iskandar Waterfront City Bhd were among the top active counters on Bursa Malaysia today, following the news on the revival of Bandar Malaysia.

Today, Bursa saw 2.35 billion shares, worth RM1.99 billion, traded. Losers led gainers by 416 to 407, while 394 counters remained unchanged.

Across in Asia, Japan's Nikkei 225 grew 0.47%, South Korea's Kospi rose 1.27% while Hong Kong's Hang Seng was up 1.22%.