KLCI bucks regional trend, rises in early trade

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KUALA LUMPUR (Jan 15): The FBM KLCI bucked the regional trend and rose in early trade, lifted by gains including at index-linked banking stocks.

At 9.02am, the FBM KLCI gained 5.10 points to 1,747.11.

The top gainers included Hong Leong Financial Group Bhd, CIMN Group Holdings Bhd, PPB Group Bhd, RHB Capital Bhd, Petronas Gas Bhd, Kuala Lumpur Kepong Bhd, UMW Holdings Bhd, Malayan Banking Bhd, Public Bank Bhd and Coastal Contracts Bhd.

Asian stocks slipped on Thursday after weak U.S. data compounded worries over plunging copper prices and the health of the world economy, while a bounce in crude oil failed to calm anxiety over a supply glut that has seen prices collapse in recent months, according to Reuters.

The mood among investors remained subdued after a fourth successive drop on Wall Street overnight, pushing MSCI's broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan down 0.2 percent, it said.

Stocks in Australia, heavily dependent on exports of natural resources, lost 0.7 percent, though Japan's Nikkei bounced 0.5 percent, said Reuters.

M & A Securities research head Rosnani Rasul in a market preview Thursday said Wall Street continued its losing streak on Wednesday, its third bleeding day for the week, hammered by persistence rout in commodity market.

She said this time it was copper that got smashed, adding that the S&P 500 and DJIA shaved 11.76 (-0.58%) and 186.59 (-1.06%) points to end at 2,011.27 and 17,427.09 respectively.

Rosnani said that as a result of the chaos in global commodity market, investors were seen taking shelter in safe haven asset particularly the gold.

She said with the exception of the oil and gold market, all other commodities like copper, coal, CPO, rubber continued their downhill performance yesterday, spooking the global equity market.

“Added to the insult, US December retail sales fell by 0.9% in December after increasing a downwardly revised 0.4% (from 0.7%) in November, hurt by poor income growth.

“This has stoked fear that the US may suffer lower-than-expected 4Q14 economic trajectory and hence, lack of risk tolerance among the investors.

“All said and done, we believe the local market will continue to negotiate a sharp bend today,” she said.