KLCI closes marginally higher at 1,571 points as CPO climbs to 16-month high

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KUALA LUMPUR (Oct 24): The benchmark FBM KLCI traded largely in negative territory today, but rebounded at the eleventh hour to close 2.32 points or 0.15% higher at the 1,571.11 mark as the market turned positive over a potential amicable resolution to growing palm oil trade tensions between India and Malaysia.

Benchmark three-month futures for crude palm oil climbed to a 16-month high of RM2,379 as at 5:03pm.

“The market is expecting that both Governments have the intention to resolve this amicably. But KLCI is expected to trade sideways tomorrow as we approach the extended weekend break for the Deepavali festival, so trading volume and value would likely be thin,” Malacca Securities Sdn Bhd senior analyst Kenneth Leong told theedgemarkets.com when contacted.

Market breadth was negative with 438 losers versus 371 gainers, as 407 counters closed unchanged.

Total trading volume amounted to 2.11 billion shares worth some RM1.69 billion.

Notable heavyweight gainers included Tenaga Nasional Bhd and Hong Leong Bank Bhd while losers included Telekom Malaysia Bhd and Gamuda Bhd.

Bumi Armada Bhd was the most actively traded counter, with 100.61 million shares done.

In the regional market, Japan’s Nikkei gained 0.55%, while Hong Kong’s Hang Seng Index inched up 0.78%. South Korea’s Kospi also rose by 0.24%.

Reuters reported that Asian shares pulled ahead on Thursday as corporate earnings and a ceasefire in northern Syria helped prop up sentiment. However, the backdrop of trade and Brexit uncertainties were enough to prevent a decisive shift towards riskier assets.