KUALA LUMPUR (June 5): The FBM KLCI rose 0.62% today, trailing last week’s rally in the U.S. stock market and supported by higher commodity prices.
The benchmark index rallied throughout the day to close up 11 points at 1787.95. On the broader market, 2.48 billion shares, worth RM2.64 billion were traded with 542 gainers against 382 decliners, while 353 counters closed unchanged.
Inter-Pacific Research head Pong Teng Siew said the local market was boosted by the bullish sentiment seen in the U.S. market, which closed at record highs last Friday, lifted by finance and technology stocks.
Both the S&P 500 and the Dow Jones Industrial Average closed at record highs of 2,349.07 and 21,206.39 respectively.
Back home, gainers included Hong Leong Financial Group Bhd, KESM Industries Bhd, United Plantations Bhd and Petronas Dagangan Bhd. Decliners included Kluang Rubber Co (M) Bhd and Manulife Holding Bhd.
Pong said the KLCI “has no problem breaching the 1,800-level soon”, but raised concerns on over-valuation of companies. “The average price-earnings ratio (P/E) in KLCI is at 15.9 times, fast approaching the trading levels in 12-month forward basis.
“This tells you that we are near the peak of valuation in P/E terms.
“We have not been able to break the level during the previous cycles of stock market rally and during the 2008 financial crisis, so it remains to be seen [as to] how far the shares will climb,” he added.
Oil prices rose to an intra-day high of US$50.71 earlier today, following news Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, the United Arab Emirates and Egypt cut ties with Qatar on terrorism concerns, Reuters reported. Meanwhile, crude palm oil prices continued to recover from last week’s losses, thanks to higher demand in the spot market.
Among Asian stock indices, Japan’s Nikkei 225 closed down 0.03% to stay well above the 20,000 level. South Korea’s KOSPI lost 0.13%, whereas Hong Kong’s HSI closed 0.24% lower.