KLCI higher as investors hope US-China talks will ease trade tension

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KUALA LUMPUR (Aug 21): The FBM KLCI gained 3.78 points or 0.21% as investors pinned their hopes on the US and China to reduce trade tension during their planned trade talks.

At 12:30pm, the KLCI settled at 1,791.36 points. Across Bursa Malaysia, 1.41 billion shares worth RM1.04 billion were traded. Top gainers included Panasonic Manufacturing (M) Bhd and Petronas Gas Bhd.

On the broader Malaysian stock market today, Hong Leong Investment Bank Bhd head of retail research Loui Low told theedgemarkets.com that investors, however, appeared to be on profit-taking mode ahead of the Hari Raya Haji holiday tomorrow.

"The market appears to be on a profit-taking tone in view of the mid-week holiday. Resistance for the KLCI is seen at around 1,800 to 1,810 while support level should be at around 1,750 to 1,760 range," Low said.

Across Asia, Reuters reported that Asian stocks rose on Tuesday, supported by hopes Beijing and Washington would dial back trade hostilities, though comments from the US president about the yuan and Federal Reserve policy capped gains and weighed on the US dollar.

It was reported that immediate focus was on the lower-level trade talks due to start this week between the US and China. Speculation that the talks might help ease trade tensions has shored up the broader equity markets over the past few sessions, it was reported.