FBM KLCI pares gains after breaching 1,700pts

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KUALA LUMPUR (Jan 25): The FBM KLCI rose 4.17 points or 0.25% with Asian equities after US technology shares gained overnight and as investors look ahead to crucial trade talks between China and the US.

At 12:30pm, the KLCI settled at 1,697.76 after rising to its highest so far today at 1,700.02.

Hong Leong Investment Bank Bhd said in a note today that "despite the mixed tone on Wall Street and the prolonged uncertainties on trade developments, sentiment on the local front is likely to stay marginally positive as traders or investors could be focusing on export-related (semiconductor, furniture and gloves) and O&G sectors on the back of weaker ringgit tone (RM4.14/USD) and firmer crude oil prices above US$60 per barrel."

Across Asia, Reuters reported that Asian stocks rose across the board on Friday, buoyed by gains in US technology shares while investors awaited several key events next week including US-China trade talks.

It was reported that Chinese Vice Premier Liu He will visit the United States on Jan 30 and 31 for the next round of trade negotiations with Washington. It was reported that the two sides are "miles and miles" from resolving trade issues but there is a fair chance they will get a deal, US Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross said on Thursday (Jan 24).