KLCI higher following moderate US economic data

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KUALA LUMPUR (April 24): The FBM KLCI trended upwards to close 16.5 points or 0.89% higher today, in line with regional markets, following moderate US economic data that point to gradual normalisation by the US Federal Reserve and gains in oil prices.

The benchmark index ended the day at 1862.58 points after 2.1 billion shares, valued at RM2.004 billion, were traded.

Areca Capital Sdn Bhd's chief executive officer Danny Wong told theedgemarkets.com: “The KLCI rebounds on the uptrend on the moderate US economic data. Contributing this also is the uptrend recovery of the crude oil prices.”

“Market participants also continued to play on the buying side in anticipation of a moderating market. Next week, the FBM KLCI is expected to trade upwards, stemming from the confidence boasted by industry captains during Invest Malaysia 2015 that will conclude today,” he added.

Top gainers on Bursa Malaysia are led by Kuala Lumpur Kepong Bhd, Nestle (Malaysia) Bhd, Petronas Dagangan Bhd, Tecnic Group Bhd and PBB Group Bhd.

The decliners table were topped by Panasonic Manufacturing Malaysia Bhd, Press Metal Bhd and Dutch Lady Milk Industries Bhd.

Decliners however were ahead of gainers at 445 against 393, while 341 counters remained unchanged.

The most actively-traded stock of the day was Nova MSC Bhd, which saw over 106.5 million shares changed hands.

Reuters reported Southeast Asian stock markets rose on Friday, led by oil-related shares such as SapuraKencana Petroleum Bhd and PTT Pcl, following gains in oil prices and as a fresh record for the Nasdaq bolstered sentiment in the broader Asia market.

Regional indices meanwhile are generally cautious, as Asian central banks are expected to cut interest rates again in the coming months.