KLCI up 0.79%, led by Petronas Gas as fund managers window dress

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KUALA LUMPUR (May 30): The FBM KLCI finished 12.83 points or 0.79% higher today, led by Petronas Gas Bhd's share price gain and amid fund managers' month-end window dressing.

Fund managers said Malaysia's share market performance today had also taken cue from the current corporate financial reporting season, during which companies such as Tenaga Nasional Bhd and Telekom Malaysia Bhd (TM) reported quarterly results, which had beaten market estimates.

At 5pm, the KLCI settled at 1,636.50 after rising to its intraday high at 1,639.42. Petronas Gas closed up 74 sen or 4.4% at RM17.56 to become the largest-percentage gainer among the 30 KLCI stocks, which included Tenaga.

Areca Capital Sdn Bhd chief executive officer Danny Wong Teck Meng told theedgemarkets.com that "analysts may review their calls on Tenaga and TM shares following the release of their upbeat earnings".

Earlier today, TA Securities Holdings Bhd wrote in a note that while the KLCI may appreciate further on window-dressing interest ahead of the month end, "caution over US-China trade tensions and other geopolitical developments should restrict upside".

Across Bursa Malaysia, gainers led decliners by 469 to 336. Volume was 2.47 billion shares valued at RM2.67 billion. Top gainer TM closed up 74 sen at RM3.46.

The most-active stock was Bumi Armada Bhd, which saw some 115 million shares traded. Bumi Armada rose one sen or 5% to 21 sen.

US-China trade war concerns continue to be a key theme for world share markets as investors evaluated the impact of the dispute on global economic growth.

In China, the Shanghai Stock Exchange Composite closed down 0.31% while Hong Kong's Hang Seng fell 0.44%. Elsewhere across Asia, Japan's Nikkei 225 declined 0.29%.

Reuters reported that Asian stocks had today tracked Wall Street's overnight losses as the latest exchanges between Beijing and Washington signalled the heightened risk of a prolonged trade war, stoking investors' concerns about the impact on global economic growth.

"We oppose a trade war but are not afraid of a trade war. This kind of deliberately provoking trade disputes is naked economic terrorism, economic chauvinism, economic bullying," Chinese Vice Foreign Minister Zhang Hanhui was quoted as saying, when asked about the trade war with the US.

His comments followed reports from Chinese newspapers that Beijing could use rare earths to strike back at Washington after US President Donald Trump remarked he was "not yet ready" to make a deal with China over trade, according to the newswire.