KLCI emerges above 1,600pts, tracks Asian share gains

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KUALA LUMPUR (Aug 27): The FBM KLCI gained 21.33 points or 1.35% to close at its intraday high as Asian shares rallied.

At 5pm, the KLCI settled at 1,601.70 points. In China, the Shanghai Composite Index climbed 5.4% while Hong Kong's Hang Seng was up 3.6%.

South Korea’s Kospi rose 0.73% while Japan’s Nikkei 225 increased 1.08%.

Reuters reported that Asian stocks rose on Thursday as a sharp rebound on Wall Street eased fears of a protracted global market rout, while the dollar steadied as risk appetite returned.

Sentiment was also supported by comments from New York Fed President William Dudley on Wednesday who said the prospect of a September rate hike "seems less compelling" than it was only weeks ago given the threat posed to the US economy by recent market turmoil.

In Malaysia, TA Securities Holdings Bhd technical analyst Steven Soo told theedgemarkets.com that Asian share gains and a stronger ringgit had supported Malaysian equities.

“The KLCI is up in line with external markets, which is cautiously rebounding in the past few days. There’s currency play at work — the ringgit has weakened a fair bit against the US dollar, but the serious deterioration is subsiding,” Soo said.

The ringgit strengthened to 4.2318 against the US dollar and compared to the Singapore dollar, the ringgit appreciated to 3.0213.

Anticipation of a later-than-expected US interest rate hike could have supported Asian currencies today.

“The chance of a September Fed (Federal Reserve) rate hike is decreasing,” said Soo.

Bursa Malaysia saw 2.11 billion shares valued at RM2.32 billion traded. There were 726 gainers versus 206 decliners.

Top gainers included British American Tobacco (M) Bhd and Carlsberg Brewery (M) Bhd.

Major decliners included KLCI-linked put warrants.

The most-active stock was AirAsia Bhd.