KLCI ekes out 0.1% gain on plantation shares' rise

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KUALA LUMPUR (Oct 14): The FBM KLCI eked out a 1.01 point or 0.1% gain as plantation shares' advance helped the index erased earlier losses.

 At 12.30pm, the KLCI settled at 1,798.21 on gains in stocks like Kuala Lumpur Kepong Bhd (KLK) and PPB Group Bhd. Both KLK and PPB also settled among Bursa Malaysia's leading gainers at afternoon break.

Plantation shares gained as prices of rival crops like corn rose in US overnight trades. As oil palm and corn are deemed subsitutes to each other, prices of these commodities tend to move in tandem.

Reuters, quoting traders, reported that US corn futures rose 3.6% on Monday, the second-biggest single-day jump of 2014, as rains in the Midwest interrupted harvest and slowed the arrival of a record-large crop into marketing channels.

Today, Bursa Malaysia saw 1.35 billion shares worth RM1.08 billion changed hands. There were  26 gainers versus 738 decliners.

Leading decliner was Hong Leong Industries Bhd while the most active stock was Sumatec Resources Bhd.

Across Asia, Japan's Nikkei fell 1.66% while Hong Kong's Hang Seng added 0.65%

Reuters reported that Japanese stocks skidded to two-month lows on Tuesday as heightened concerns about the health of the world economy unnerved investors, triggering a shift in funds to safe-havens such as U.S. bonds.

"There are downside risks to the global economy on the whole. And the G20 meeting last weekend showed there is no panacea to lift the economy," said Hirokazu Kabeya, senior strategist at Daiwa Securities.