KLCI breaks above 1,700pts on stronger US markets

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KUALA LUMPUR (July 30): The FBM KLCI gained 5.74 points or 0.34% to settle at 1,704.73, tracking overnight positive performance in US markets.

Reuters reported U.S. stocks finished stronger on Wednesday, after the U.S. Federal Reserve said the economy and job market continued to strengthen and left its key interest rate unchanged.

At 12:30pm today, Malaysia's KLCI gained on stocks like Petronas Gas Bhd and SapuraKencana Petroleum Bhd.

Analysts said Malaysian shares had room for further gains. JF Apex said it expected the KLCI to rebound, with immediate resistance seen at 1,740 points.

This followed the positive performance in US markets, according to JF Apex.

Across Bursa Malaysia, gainers outpaced decliners by 335 to 292, while 355 counters traded unchanged. Volume was 862.22 million shares, valued at RM668.795 million.

Top gainers included British American Tobacco (M) Bhd and Oriental Food Industries Holdings Bhd. Top decliners included IQ Group Holdings Bhd and Pos Malaysia Bhd.

The most actively-traded counters included Pesona Metro Holdings Bhd and Xidelang Holdings Ltd.

Across Asia, Hong Kong's Hang Seng declined 0.07%, South Korea's Kospi fell 0.76%, while Japan's Nikkei 225 rose 0.93%.

Reuters reported Asian stocks tiptoed higher on Thursday, and the dollar consolidated recent gains after the U.S. Federal Reserve painted a relatively bright picture of the world's biggest economy, but a deepening sell-off in commodities kept gains in check.