KLCI up 12pts/0.7% on bargain hunting, crude oil & China data in focus

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KUALA LUMPUR (Oct 23): The FBM KLCI rose 12.28 points or 0.7% as investors bargain hunted beaten-down stocks across Bursa Malaysia. This followed the recent selldown in the local bourse as world economic growth concerns rattle markets across the globe.

At 12.30pm, the KLCI settled at 1,808.50. The index rose on gains in stocks like Genting Bhd and Tenaga Nasional Bhd, which were among Bursa Malaysia top gainers.

In recent days, investors sold down Malaysian shares, resulting in the KLCI trading at a six-month intraday low of 1,766.22 points last Friday (Oct 17). This compared to a high of 1,896.24 on July 8 this year.

Last Tuesday (Oct 21), the KLCI fell 6.92 points or 0.38% to close at 1,796.22. Yesterday (Oct 22), local markets were closed for the Deepavali holiday.

Today, analysts said while the KLCI was ripe for a technical rebound, local equities were still seen taking the cue from global economic growth concerns, and lower crude oil prices.
 
"Given the present weak buying momentum and persistent global growth concerns, stocks should extend consolidation to rebuild support at current levels prior to recovery ahead," TA Securities Holdings Bhd wrote in a note today.

Bursa Malaysia saw some 646 million shares worth RM744 million changed hands. There were 459 gainers versus 196 decliners.

The leading decliner was United Plantations Bhd. The most active stock was Tek Seng Holdings Bhd.

Across Asia, Japan's Nikkei 225 rose 0.14% while Hong Kong's Hang Seng fell 0.34%.

Reuters reported that Asian shares sagged on Thursday after a retreat on Wall Street and falling crude oil prices rekindled investor anxiety over slowing global growth, while a mixed picture on Chinese manufacturing failed to impress markets.

The flash HSBC/Markit manufacturing purchasing managers' index (PMI) edged up to a three-month high of 50.4 from a final reading of 50.2 in September, and just a hair's breadth from the 50.3 reading forecast by analysts.

But the level of output in factories fell to a five-month low of 50.7, just above the 50-point level that separates growth from contraction on a monthly basis, underscoring a cooling economy.