KLCI gains on bargain hunting, China shares; ringgit weakens

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KUALA LUMPUR (Sept 8): The FBM KLCI erased losses to close 4.27 points or 0.3% higher on bargain hunting, as positive China markets and recovering commodity prices supported sentiment.
The KLCI, which ended at 1,587.12 at 5pm, gained on blue chips like YTL Corp Bhd, SapuraKencana Petroleum Bhd, British American Tobacco (M) Bhd (BAT) and Malayan Banking Bhd (Maybank).

BAT and Maybank finished among Bursa Malaysia top gainers, following the KLCI's sharp afternoon rise to an intraday high of 1,594.91. The KLCI had erased losses from a low of 1,576.96.

Jupiter Securities Sdn Bhd's chief market strategist Benny Lee said that "the local market, along with regional markets, were a little bit oversold for the past one week, hence, providing opportunity for bargain hunting."

“Palm oil, rubber and the crude oil prices, which slightly rebounded today, have boosted market sentiment,” Lee told theedgemarkets.com.

Reuters reported crude oil prices stabilised on Tuesday, as strong German economic data and a year-on-year increase in Chinese crude imports balanced concerns about Asia's economic growth and global oil oversupply. Brent oil prices traded higher at US$47.93 a barrel.

The Malaysian bourse also rose in tandem with China share markets' substantial gains. The CSI300 rose 2.6%, while Shanghai Composite added 2.9%.

Hong Kong Hang Seng rose 3.28%. Elsewhere, Japan's Nikkei 225 lost 2.43%, while South Korea’s Kospi shed 0.24%.

In Malaysia, Bursa Malaysia saw 547 gainers against 243 decliners. A total of 2.01 billion shares, worth of RM1.71 billion, were traded.

Top decliner was United Plantations Bhd, while the most-active counter was The Media Shoppe Bhd.

In currency markets, the ringgit weakened to a fresh level against the US dollar at 4.3713 earlier today. The ringgit was quoted at 4.3393 against the US dollar at the time of writing.

Lee said that the ringgit, which pared losses, had "boosted confidence" among investors.