FBM KLCI up as China shares gain

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KUALA LUMPUR (Aug 20): The FBM KLCI rose 4.5 points or 0.3% with China shares as investors looked ahead at the planned China-US trade talks. The talks are closely watched for any China-US trade war easing signs.

At Bursa Malaysia, the KLCI settled at 1,787.97 at 12:30pm. In China, the Shanghai Stock Exchange Composite added 0.11% while Hong Kong's Hang Seng was 0.19% higher.

Across Bursa Malaysia, 1.18 billion shares worth RM851.41 million were traded. Top gainers included Carlsberg Brewery Malaysia Bhd and Petronas Chemicals Group Bhd.

Leading decliners included P.I.E. Industrial Bhd, which settled 13 sen down at RM1.50. On Friday, P.I.E. said net profit fell year-on-year to RM6.98 million in its second quarter ended June 30, 2018 from RM10.7 million.

On the broader Malaysian stock market today, TA Securities Holdings Bhd wrote in a note that cautious market sentiment is expected to prevail as global investors closely watch the China-US trade war and Turkey's geopolitical and economic crisis.

"Conflicting daily and weekly momentum and trend indicators on the FBM KLCI following early last week's correction and subsequent range bound trade, suggests that more support building effort is needed to convince investors to return back to the market. Meantime, external market volatility, caused by uncertainties over Turkey's geopolitical and economic crisis, and the ongoing US-China trade war, notwithstanding the recent agreement for dialogue on trade issues between them, which could take months to crystallise, should see cautious market sentiment prevailing for another week," TA Securities said.

Across Asia, Reuters reported that Asian share markets crept cautiously higher on Monday as investors awaited developments on the proposed Sino-US trade talks and the Chinese yuan rallied away from dangerous lows.

It was reported that investors were encouraged by news China and the US will hold lower-level trade talks this month, offering hope that they might resolve an escalating tariff war. Reports suggested the talks in Washington would take place on Aug 21 and 22, just before US$16 billion in new US tariffs on Chinese goods take effect, Reuters reported.