KLCI ends higher amid US-China trade deal optimism

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KUALA LUMPUR (Jan 16): The FBM KLCI closed 2.74 points or 0.17% higher today after erasing losses in the final trading hour, partly helped by Axiata Group Bhd and Digi.Com Bhd's share price spike and as world markets cheered the US-China phase one trade deal.

At 5pm, the KLCI closed higher at 1,587.88 after falling to its intraday low at 1,575.77. Axiata ended 20 sen or 4.81% higher at RM4.36 while Digi.Com rose three sen or 0.67% to RM4.54.

Malaysia telecommunication stocks' price rise could be due to news today that Credit Suisse had upgraded the sector to market weight from underweight.

Bloomberg quoted Credit Suisse analyst Danny Chan as writing in a note that Credit Suisse upgraded Axiata shares to outperform from neutral.

Globally, the US-China phase one trade deal that was signed on Wednesday led to share market optimism today. In Malaysia, Rakuten Trade Sdn Bhd research vice president Vincent Lau said the KLCI had today tracked overnight optimism in world share markets following the signing of the trade deal.

Cautious sentiment however remains. “The market is quite mixed. It is still cautious with muted gains. We hope the KLCI can head back to the 1,600 level in the near term as the broader market is generally performing okay,” Lau told theedgemarkets.com.

Meanwhile, the Securities Commission Malaysia has ordered the suspension of trading in Atta Global Group Bhd and Heng Huat Resources Group Bhd securities with effect from 12:08pm today under a directive issued under the Capital Markets and Services Act 2007.

Reuters reported that world stocks inched ahead to a record high on Thursday after the US and China signed the initial deal to defuse their 18-month trade war, though financial markets were wary as a number of thorny issues remained unresolved.

Overnight at the US stock market, the S&P 500 closed at a record high of 3,289.3 points, up 0.19%, with gains fairly small after the market has rallied for months on hopes of a deal, according to Reuters.