KLCI gained at eleventh hour, lifted by blue chips

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KUALA LUMPUR (Aug 3): The FBM KLCI clawed back to the positive territory at the eleventh hour before the closing bell, supported by late buying interest in blue chips, after spending most of the trading day below the closing level last Friday.

At market close, the benchmark index surged 21.05 points, or 1.22%, to 1,744.19 points.

The index was lifted by several KLCI component stocks like UMW Holdings Bhd, which gained 72 sen or 7.2% to close at RM10.72; the counter was the top gainer across Bursa Malaysia.

Prior to the sudden surge in KLCI, Interpacific Securities senior remisier Sam Ng told theedgemarkets.com that subsequent to the cabinet reshuffle last week, investors prefer to hold a wait-and-see stance before they see a clearer political direction.

“The market is quiet today; other than political factor, the Greek market also tumbled over 20%, which would cause some psychological impact to Malaysia market,” he added.

Reuters reported that Greece's stock market plunged nearly 23% on Monday when it opened after a five-week shutdown brought on by fears the country was about to be dumped from the euro zone.

Nevertheless, Ng said the KLCI performance today is considered “stable”, despite the lower participation by traders.

“The situation may be similar in the next one or two days, as the market still needs time to digest the political changes last week,” he reckoned.

Some 1.32 billion shares worth RM1.25 billion traded across the market. There were 324 gainers and 465 decliners, while 333 counters remained unchanged.

Decliners were led by United Plantations Bhd. The top active stock was iDimension Consolidated Bhd.

On the regional front, Japan’s Nikkei fell 0.18%, Hong Kong’s Hang Seng lost 0.91%, while South Korea’s Kospi lowered by 1.07%.

Reuters reported that MSCI's broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan fell 0.9%, close to a year low on Monday thanks to a deepening sell-off in commodities and fresh concerns over slowing growth in China, while the dollar held its ground against a basket of currencies.

On currency front, the ringgit weakened to RM3.8517 against the US dollar, and to RM2.7962 against the Singapore dollar.