KLCI bucks Asian stock gauge drop as Covid-19 concerns linger

KLCI bucks Asian stock gauge drop as Covid-19 concerns linger
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KUALA LUMPUR (Sept 22): The FBM KLCI ended 6.35 points or 0.42% higher at 1,505.78 today, partly helped by banking stocks' price rise, to buck Asian equity indices drop as the rising global number of Covid-19 infections raised economic growth concerns.

Across Bursa Malaysia at 5pm, 6.54 billion securities were traded for RM3.92 billion.

There were 600 decliners versus 429 gainers. Leading gainers included Hong Leong Financial Group Bhd (HLFG) and Public Bank Bhd.

Top gainer HLFG's share price closed up 50 sen or 3.58% at RM14.46 while Public Bank ended 18 sen or 1.15% higher at RM15.86.

The KLCI, like HLFG and Public Bank, had closed higher after opening lower today.

Areca Capital Sdn Bhd CEO Danny Wong Teck Meng told theedgemarkets.com that "bargain-hunting emerged" in the Malaysian stock market today to lift the KLCI above the 1,500-point level.

Globally, it was reported that Asian shares were broadly weaker Tuesday as possible delays in expanded US stimulus and concerns about fresh Covid-19 pandemic lockdowns in Europe dented the recent positive sentiment towards global equity markets.

It was reported that a burst of positive sentiment emerged briefly in China as the blue-chip index traded higher but the market then again slipped into negative territory.

"Japanese markets were closed for a public holiday. Early trading indicated further selling pressure on Wall Street on Tuesday, with S&P 500 futures down 0.18% in early Asia and Nasdaq 100 futures off 0.29%," Reuters reported.

"We can't see any positive news on the horizon in the near term for the markets to rebound," Steven Leung, executive director for institutional sales at Hong Kong brokerage UOB Kay Hian, was quoted as saying.

Chong Jin Hun