KLCI climbs 11.73pts on US GDP, oil prices

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KUALA LUMPUR (Aug 28): The FBM KLCI rose 0.7% as Asian shares advanced after the US said second quarter gross domestic product (GDP) growth was stronger than earlier estimates.

At 12.30pm, the KLCI settled at 1,613.43 points. Malaysian shares gained compared with Japan's Nikkei 225's 2.85% rise and South Korea's Kospi's 1.38% increase. Hong Kong's Hang Seng added 0.5%.

"We should see more investor appetite for riskier assets today, given the positive leads from the overnight markets," IG market strategist in Singapore Bernard Aw was quoted by Reuters as saying in a note.

Reuters reported that data on Thursday showed that the US economy grew 3.7% in the second quarter — much faster than the previous estimate of 2.3%. The latest data had contributed to overnight US share gains.

Today, Bursa Malaysia saw 473 gainers and 298 decliners. Volume was 1.18 billion shares valued at RM946.67 million.

The top gainers included British American Tobacco (M) Bhd and Petronas Gas Bhd. Major decliners included Nestle (M) Bhd and Latitude Tree Holdings Bhd.

Active stocks included AirAsia Bhd, Sumatec Resouces Bhd and SapuraKencana Petroleum Bhd.

Oil and gas-related Sumatec and SapuraKencana gained on higher crude oil prices, which jumped some 10% in overnight trades.

Today, Reuters reported that crude oil futures rose on Friday, adding to their biggest one-day rally in over six years the day before, led by recovering equity markets and news of diminished crude supplies.

October Brent crude was up 24 US cents at US$47.80 per barrel as of 0404 GMT. It settled US$4.42 higher at US$47.56 per barrel in the previous session. US crude was 37 US cents higher at US$42.93 per barrel, after ending up US$3.96 at US$42.56 per barrel.