Hairbreadth away from 900

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KUALA LUMPUR: Fund buying of big cap stocks and the rally on Asian markets helped galvanise investors’ sentiment and pushed the KL Composite Index just a hairbreadth away from the 900 level at midday on April 2. At 12.30pm, the KLCI was up 13.86 points or 1.57% to 898.04 but off the high of 899.53. Turnover was a healthy 419 million shares valued at RM523.41 million. Sentiment was positive with advancing counters beating decliners by 3.6 to 1. There were 361 gainers, 104 losers and 134 stocks unchanged. The Hang Seng Index jumped 5.3% to 14,236.63, Singapore’s Straits Times Index added 3.7% to 1,764.49 and the Nikkei 225 3.99% up at 8,685.5 while Shanghai Composite Index added 1.16% to 2,436.  Crude palm oil futures rose RM16 to RM2,051 while light crude oil added 73 cents to US$49.12. According to Bloomberg, the rally on Asian markets was sparked by US car sales which beat estimated while US Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner said global economies were showing “traction” amid widening stimulus efforts. For Malaysia, the smooth transition of power, where Prime Minister Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi met with the King this morning to offer his resignation and to hand over the reins to Datuk Seri Najib Razak, also boosted sentiment. CIMB Equities Research also said Malaysia looked ripe for a rebound from a technical charting perspective. It upgraded Malaysia from Neutral to Overweight and raised its year-end KLCI target from 1,013 to 1,060 (based on 13.5 times price to earnings) after cutting the discount to the three-year moving average P/E from 15% to 10%. Hume Industries rose 27 sen to RM2.93, making it the top gainer with 9,000 shares done. Uzma added 27 sen also to RM1.52, MBM Resources 25 sen to RM2.25, Tanjong 20 sen to RM13.90 and BHIC 19 sen to RM2.99.Among plantation stocks, Kulim rose 22 sen to RM5.20, United Plantations added 20 sen to RM10.40. Tenaga rose 20 sen to RM6.30. MRCB was the most active with 26 million shares done, rising 4.5 sen to 90 sen. Resorts added seven sen to RM2.23, WCT seven sen also to RM1.19 and Twebrau two sen to 42.5 sen. BAT fell 25 sen to RM45.75, Tajung Offshore-WA 20 sen lower to 28 sen, GoldIS 16 sen to RM1 and Weida 13.5 sen to 41.5 sen.