KUALA LUMPUR (July 11): The FBM KLCI rebounded to close in positive territory today on bargain hunting at the eleventh hour.
The benchmark index recovered from its intraday low of 1,674.70 in the afternoon session, before settling at 1,679.26 for a gain of 0.29 points or 0.02% from yesterday.
Inter-Pacific Securities Head of Research Pong Teng Siew said the US Federal Reserve's suggestive rate cuts may have provided a positive backdrop for investors looking to get back in the market.
"It is the last minute bargain hunting that helped push the index up," Pong told theedgemarkets.com.
Top gainers among index-linked stocks included Dialog Group Bhd and Maxis Bhd, which rose 2.66% and 1.77% respectively.
Pong pointed out that the overall market breadth was positive with more gainers than losers at 501 versus 329. Total volume was also higher at 3.18 billion shares worth RM2.21 billion.
Most actively traded stocks were energy-related, including KNM Group Bhd, Sapura Energy Bhd and Bumi Armada Bhd, which together accounted for nearly one-fifth of the total market turnover.
The gains on the local market was in line with other Asian markets, which cheered the dovish views of US Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell, who reinforced prospects for a US interest rate cut later this month.
Hong Kong's Hang Seng Index and the Shanghai Stock Exchange Composite Index gained 0.81% and 0.08% respectively at end of the trading day.
In Tokyo, the Nikkei 225 closed 0.51% higher while South Korea's Kospi finished 1.06% higher.
In his first day of testimony before Congress on Wednesday, Powell confirmed that the US economy was still under threat from disappointing factory activity, tame inflation and a simmering trade war, Reuters reported.