FBM KLCI climbs following trade war clarity

FBM KLCI climbs following trade war clarity
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KUALA LUMPUR (Dec 18): The FBM KLCI closed 1.41% or 22.16 points higher today at 1,599.11 points, together with some Southeast Asian peers, following the recent de-escalation in trade tensions between the US and China.

IHH Healthcare Bhd, Maxis Bhd and Malaysia Airports Holdings Bhd contributed to the rise in the local benchmark.

A total of 2.5 billion shares worth RM2.03 billion were traded across the local bourse today, with 382 counters registering gains while 389 counters declined; 481 counters closed unchanged.

Reuters wrote that Southeast Asian financial markets saw gains today, with Thailand leading the charge, after a recent run of upbeat data helped calm recession fears, while "phase-one" of a Sino-US trade deal has given some clarity to investors over their global outlook.

Besides the Thai index, where the climb was underpinned by gains in energy stocks amid firmer overnight oil prices, the news agency noted that Indonesian stocks were set to extend gains for a fourth consecutive session while Singapore tracked broader peers higher following upbeat US housing and manufacturing data. The Philippine benchmark, however, dipped after the central bank signalled further rate cuts amid flagging growth and lean global demand.

In a 2020 strategy note on Tuesday, TA Securities Head of Research Kaladher Govindan said the de-escalation in trade tensions between the two largest economies in the world is a good way to usher in 2020, while an expected recovery and stability in commodity prices will add to market optimism in 2020.

Asia Pacific bourses, however, were mixed. The Shanghai Composite index closed 0.18% or 5.38 points lower at 3,017.04 points, while Hong Kong's Hang Seng Index registered a gain of 0.15% or 40.50 points to 27,884.21 points.

South Korea's Kospi closed 0.04% or 0.92 points lower at 2,194.76 points, while the Nikkei 225 declined 0.55% or 131.69 points at 23,934.43 points.