FBM KLCI pares losses in the final hour to close in positive territory

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KUALA LUMPUR (Jan 15): The benchmark FBM KLCI, which has been languishing in the red earlier today, pared losses at the eleventh hour of trading to close in positive territory.

At 5pm, the benchmark index settled 4.54 points or 0.29% higher at 1,585.14, after a total of 2.54 billion shares worth RM1.68 billion were traded.

According to Areca Capital Sdn Bhd chief executive officer Danny Wong Teck Meng, investors are cautious as they await more news on the upcoming signing of the initial or phase one trade deal between the US and China, which is expected to happen later this evening.

The agreement, which aims to vastly increase Chinese purchases of US manufactured products, agricultural goods, energy and services, will cap 18 months of tariff conflict between the two largest economies in the world, which has roiled financial markets globally and slowed global growth.

"Overall, investors are waiting for new catalysts. And given that the Chinese New Year holidays are around the corner, many will not want to bet their money for now. Expect the KLCI to hover, plus and minus, around the 1,600 level," he told theedgemarkets.com.

Among the stocks that supported the KLCI's performance in the final trading hour today were Press Metal Aluminium Holdings Bhd (up 4.04% or two sen to close at RM5.15), Top Glove Corp Bhd (up 3% or 14 sen to settle at RM4.80), and Public Bank Bhd (up 2.19% or 42 sen at RM19.56).

Reuters, meanwhile, reported that Asian shares fell as investors stayed wary after a top US trade official said current tariffs on Chinese goods would stay for now, prompting investors to lock in profits from recent gains.