FBM KLCI closes higher on better-than-expected November exports data, US fiscal stimulus

FBM KLCI closes higher on better-than-expected November exports data, US fiscal stimulus
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KUALA LUMPUR (Dec 28): The FBM KLCI today closed 2.73 points or 0.17% higher after the extended Christmas weekend, following the release of the country's better-than-expected November export figures. At 5pm, the local benchmark index closed at 1,643.9 points.

Besides the November export figure — which rose for the third straight month and was up 4.3% year-on-year — progress on the US fiscal stimulus aid also lifted the benchmark index, according to Rakuten Trade Research vice president Vincent Lau.

Reuters reported that US President Donald Trump signed a US$2.3 trillion financial aid and spending bill after initially refusing to approve the legislation, which restores unemployment benefits to millions and averts a partial federal government shutdown.

At the same time, Europe has launched a mass Covid-19 vaccination drive on Sunday, while vaccinations have also begun in Britain and the United States, raising hope that major economies can shake off the drag caused by the spread of the coronavirus, the newswire added.

Among the 30 component stocks, the top gainer was MISC Bhd, which rose 22 sen or 3.38% to close at RM6.72 today. This was followed by Sime Darby Bhd, which closed six sen or 2.69% higher at RM2.29, and CIMB Group Holdings Bhd, which rose 11 sen or 2.63% to RM4.30.

Top losers, on the other hand, were the glove makers, namely Supermax Corp Bhd (down 42 sen or 6.17% to close at RM6.39), Top Glove Corp Bhd (down 23 sen or 3.54% at RM6.26) and Hartalega Holdings Bhd (down 12 sen or 1.12% at RM12.46).

Today, Bursa Malaysia saw 8.71 billion shares, worth RM3.9 billion, traded. Gainers led laggards by 701 to 549, while 407 counters remained unchanged.

Across Asia, Japan's Nikkei 225 grew 0.74% and South Korea's Kospi increased by 0.06%, while Hong Kong’s Hang Seng fell 0.27%.

Tan Choe Choe