KLCI up 11.38 points, lifted by banking stocks

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KUALA LUMPUR (Feb 27): The FBM KLCI gained 11.38 points or 0.61%, lifted mainly by banking stocks. At 5pm, the KLCI closed at 1,871.46 points.

Bursa Malaysia's finance index rose 201.41 points or 1.11% to settle at 18,299.16 points as Hong Leong Financial Group Bhd and Hong Leong Bank Bhd shares emerged among Bursa Malaysia's top 10 gainers.

“On a technical basis, the KLCI should continue to see an uptrend to about 1,880 level. If there is any negative external surprise, we should see a support level at about 1,840 to 1,850,” Hong Leong Investment Bank head of retail research Loui Low said.

Across Asian markets, Japan’s Nikkei 225 gained 1.07%, Hong Kong’s Hang Seng fell 0.73% while South Korea’s Kospi slipped 0.06%.

Reuters reported that global shares held firm near three-week highs on Tuesday as US borrowing costs eased ahead of Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell's awaited first congressional testimony later in the day. Powell's debut appearance is seen as critical for financial markets at a time when many investors are nervous about the Fed's policy normalisation following years of stimulus after the financial crisis almost a decade ago.