KLCI gains 9.28pts as Brexit concerns ease

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KUALA LUMPUR (June 17): The FBM KLCI gained 9.28 points or 0.6%, tracking Asian equity gains, as concerns on the UK's possible European Union (EU) exit eased.

Concerns on the UK's possible EU exit, popularly known as Brexit, eased on news that the killing of a pro-EU lawmaker led to a halt in the campaigning for the referendum this Thursday (June 23).

Today, Malaysia's KLCI closed at 1,624.18 points. Across Asian share markets, Hong Kong's Hang Seng gained 0.66%, South Korea's Kospi increased 0.07%, while Japan's Nikkei 225 rose 1.07%.

Reuters reported that Asian shares rose on Friday but were set for weekly losses as investors favoured safe haven assets because of fears that Britain will vote to quit the EU, though the killing of a pro-EU politician was seen swaying sentiment toward the "Remain" camp.

In Malaysia, JF Apex Securities Bhd senior analyst Lee Cherng Wee said the local stock market's rise was in line with the overnight rebound in US markets, as worries of Brexit ebbed.

"Although suspension of campaigning for the referendum has a positive effect on markets, this is temporary as the uncertainty will be back in the near term.

"The outlook for the KLCI in the near term is still uncertain. It will continue to be affected by external factors like the direction of US interest rate, as there is a lack of domestic catalysts," Lee said.

Across Bursa Malaysia, 1.12 billion shares valued at RM1.42 billion were traded. There 357 gainers and 331 decliners.

Leading gainers included Hong Leong Bank Bhd and PPB Group Bhd while top decliner was Aeon Credit Service (M) Bhd. The most-actively traded stock was SapuraKencana Petroleum Bhd.