KLCI up 0.42%, DWL and Gadang in focus

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KUALA LUMPUR (April 22): The FBM KLCI rose 0.42% at mid-morning today, as regional markets were steady, while DWL Resources Bhd and Gadang Holdings Bhd were in focus following the revival of the East Coast Rail Link and the companies' reported joint bids for jobs in the project.

At 10am, the FBM KLCI rose 6.92 points to 1,628.99.

Gainers led losers by 365 to 217, while 267 counters traded unchanged. Volume was 1.11 billion shares valued at RM723.20 million.

The gainers included DWL, Iskandar Waterfront City Bhd, Tasek Corp Bhd, Ekovest Bhd, Gamuda Bhd, Lafarge Malaysia Bhd, Malaysia Airports Holdings Bhd and Tenaga Nasional Bhd.

The actives included Ekovest, Econpile Holdings Bhd, Sapura Energy Bhd, Iris Corp Bhd, Malaysian Resources Corp Bhd, Gadang and Hibiscus Petroleum Bhd.

The decliners included warrants of Malayan Banking Bhd, Serba Dinamik Holdings Bhd and IJM Corp Bhd; Aeon Credit Service (M) Bhd; and Hong Leong Industries Bhd.

Asian stocks were steady on Monday as investors awaited the return of major financial markets from the Good Friday holiday, while oil prices spiked on a report the US is likely to ask all importers of Iranian oil to end their purchases or face sanctions, according to Reuters.

Brent futures rallied to a five-month high, after the Washington Post said US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo will announce "that as of May 2, the State Department will no longer grant sanctions waivers to any country that is currently importing Iranian crude or condensate," the newswire said.

Hong Leong IB Research said that in the US, based on the technical indicators, it is still suggesting that the uptrend is intact and most of the indices may trend higher over the near term.

"Also, we believe the recent better-than-expected US corporate earnings would be able to sustain the momentum at least for the near term. Hence, the Dow may retest the all-time high at 26,951 level.

"We believe the bargain-hunting activities on the local [bourse] are likely to persist on the back of the revival of Bandar Malaysia project, which may boost the sentiment on construction and related sectors such as building materials segment.

"Nevertheless, market participants will be watching closely on the US-China trade progress, which may increase trading volatility in the market. The FBM KLCI's resistance will be envisaged around 1,640-1,650," the research house said.