KUALA LUMPUR (July 26): The FBM KLCI finished 2.45 points or 0.14% higher, helped by the 11th-hour share price spike in index-linked stocks like Tenaga Nasional Bhd and Malayan Banking Bhd (Maybank).
At 5pm, the KLCI closed at 1,766.23 points after falling to its intraday low at 1,762.15 points. At 5pm, Tenaga shares rose 22 sen to close at RM15.10 while Maybank added nine sen to RM9.90.
The KLCI's higher close bucked the downtrend in Asian stock markets. The spotlight was on China shares' drop as the Shanghai Composite index fell 0.74% while Hong Kong's Hang Seng was 0.48% lower.
Reuters reported that China stocks ended lower on Thursday as months of see-sawing US-Sino trade friction stoked uncertainties over the country's economic growth, prompting investors to take a cautious stance.
It was reported that China's state planner vowed on Wednesday to prevent extensive job losses across the economy and keep unemployment below existing thresholds as trade friction with the United States created uncertainty in the labour market.
"The escalating Sino-US trade frictions have brought uncertainties to our country's economic development and especially to employment stability," Ha Zengyou, a senior official from the state planner told reporters.
In Malaysia, Inter-Pacific Securities Sdn Bhd head of research Pong Teng Siew claimed: “The indication is that the move by [US President Donald] Trump to renegotiate some of the deals with Europe is his strategy to isolate China.
“From the perspective of industrial linkages, we are more linked to China, so the impact is more negative for us [Asian countries] if China is being isolated.”
Across Bursa Malaysia, 3.03 billion shares worth RM2.73 billion were traded.
Top-active stocks included Sapura Energy Bhd and Lay Hong Bhd while leading gainers included Panasonic Manufacturing Malaysia Bhd and Tenaga Nasional Bhd.