KLCI gains 0.49% on last day of trading for 1Q15

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KUALA LUMPUR (Mar 31): The benchmark FBM KLCI closed 8.95 points or 0.49% higher on the last day of trading for the first quarter ending March 31, 2015 (1Q15) to finish at 1830.78 points, which analysts say is mainly due to external factors like China’s property stimulus efforts to aid its ailing property market.

At market close at 5pm, the ringgit was trading at 3.6973 against the US dollar, significantly weaker than a year ago when it was trading at 3.2645 against the greenback.

Brent crude oil prices, on the other hand, continued to trade at sluggish levels of US$55 per barrel, as compared to US$107.76 per barrel a year ago.

Overall, a total of 2.15 billion shares, valued at RM2.46 billion, were traded during the day.

Market breadth was mixed with 417 gainers against 410 decliners, while 350 counters remained unchanged.

Today’s top gainers included British American Tobacco (M) Bhd (up 86 sen or 1.27%), Kuala Lumpur Kepong Bhd (up 36 sen or 1.61%), and Westports Holdings Bhd (up 29 sen or 7.77%).

Meanwhile, decliners were led by Asia Brands Bhd (down 36 sen  or 12.2%), LTKM Bhd (down 26 sen or 4.35%), and Tasco Bhd (down 22 sen or 5.87%).

The most actively traded stock today was Nova MSC Bhd (up 1 sen or 6.06%), which saw about 1.16 billion shares change hands.

TA Securities Holdings Bhd technical analyst Steven Soo said that KLCI’s gain today was mainly driven by external factors, such as China’s property stimulus efforts to aid its ailing property market.

“KLCI’s gain today is mainly attributed to external factors such as the easing of China’s property policies. On local factors, there may be some first quarter window dressing activities that could have contributed to the gain, but overall on the local front, investors are still cautious with the implementation of the goods and services tax (GST) tomorrow,” he told theedgemarkets.com.

Reuters reported that Asian stocks rose across the board on Tuesday after a rally on Wall Street and steps by China to shore up its economy boosted risk appetite.

“After unveiling details over the weekend for a modern 'Silk Road' that could pump tens of billions of dollars into investment, China late on Monday announced steps to ease housing taxes and lending rules to prop up sliding house prices that have threatened economic growth,” said Reuters.

Bloomberg reported that emerging market stocks headed for the biggest first-quarter rally in three years on signs that China will do more to support growth in the world’s second largest economy.

Regionally, Hong Kong’s Hang Seng was up 0.18%, South Korea’s KOSPI was up by 0.54%, while the Nikkei was down by 1.05%.