KLCI finishes up after falling as US dents rate cut bets

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KUALA LUMPUR (Aug 1): The FBM KLCI closed up 4.2 points or 0.26% today at 1,639.07 on bargain hunting after falling earlier with Asian share markets as the US Federal Reserve dampened market expectation of more interest rate cuts following a 25 basis point reduction on Wednesday.
Reuters reported today that Asian shares slipped to six-week lows on Thursday while the dollar jumped to two-year highs as the Federal Reserve rattled markets by signalling that its first rate cut in more than a decade was not the start of a lengthy easing cycle.

It was reported that investors were pricing in more than 100 basis points of easing from the Fed over the next year, sending world equities soaring to record highs in recent days. But Fed Chair Jerome Powell dented those bets, sounding far more circumspect about the need for further policy easing.

In Malaysia, Rakuten Trade Sdn Bhd deputy head of research Vincent Lau told theedgemarkets.com there might have been some bargain hunting on the first day of the month today.

"The KLCI has been dropping for so long — particularly a heavy sell-off was observed yesterday — so today might be an opportunity for some portfolio rebalancing," Lau said.

At 5pm today, the KLCI closed up after falling to its intraday low at 1,627.95.

The KLCI ended higher as components including Press Metal Aluminium Holdings Bhd and Tenaga Nasional Bhd rose among Bursa Malaysia top gainers.

Across Bursa Malaysia, 2.45 billion shares were crossed for RM2.02 billion as decliners led gainers by 426 counters against 319 respectively.

Top-active stocks included newly listed Tashin Holdings Bhd with some 53 million shares traded. Tashin's share price closed down 9.5 sen or 16% at 48.5 sen against the stock's issue price of 58 sen.