KLCI climbs to highest in two weeks, bolstered by optimism over US$2 tril anti-virus shot in US

KLCI climbs to highest in two weeks, bolstered by optimism over US$2 tril anti-virus shot in US
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KUALA LUMPUR (March 29): The FBM KLCI rose 1.13% or 15 points at the close of trading today, as overnight gains seen on Wall Street following optimism over the US government's US$2 trillion plan to combat the Covid-19 pandemic's fallout lifted regional markets.

Consequently, the benchmark index settled at 1,343.09 — its highest in two weeks — after charting its fourth day of increase.

“The gains on Wall Street have been lifting the FBM KLCI. That said, we have to watch out for development such as the spread of the Covid-19 virus as well,” said Areca Capital Sdn Bhd chief executive officer Danny Wong.

On Thursday (March 26), the Dow Jones Industrial Average posted a 6.38% or 1,351.62 point gain to settle at 22,522.17 points, with the S&P 500 rising 6.24% or 154.41 points to 2,630.07 points.

While the KLCI has jumped 123.37 points or 10% from its 11-year low of 1,219.729 points recorded last week, it is still down by 15.46% on a year-to-date (YTD) basis.

That said, it is the best performing index with the least losses in Asean YTD, as regional peers have suffered over a 20% drop.

Overall, there were 649 gainers versus 234 decliners, while 383 counters were left unchanged after some 4.23 billion shares worth RM2.74 billion were traded across the board.

Index-gainers today were led by Hong Leong Financial Group Bhd, Genting Malaysia Bhd, Genting Bhd, and Hartalega Bhd.

Those who weighed on the index were led by IHH Healthcare Bhd, Sime Darby Bhd and Petronas Gas Bhd.

According to Reuters, Asian stocks saw gains as investors wagered over whether the US government will implement more stimulus measures to combat the Covid-19 virus.

Hong Kong’s Hang Seng closed 0.56% or 131.94 points higher at 23,484.28 points, while the Shanghai Composite climbed 0.26% or 7.29 points to 2,772.20 points.

Japan's Nikkei 225 also finished the trading day higher after gaining 3.88% or 724.83 points, while the Kospi in South Korea rose 1.87% or 31.49.