KLCI closes just below intraday high, Bursa volume slips ahead of FTSE Russell decision

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KUALA LUMPUR (Sept 26): The FBM KLCI closed up 3.42 points or 0.22% today while volume across Bursa Malaysia fell below two billion shares as markets appeared to price in a further reduction in Malaysian interest rates and as investors stayed wary ahead of FTSE Russell’s decision on whether to exclude the country's bonds from its World Government Bond Index (WGBI).

At 5pm, KLCI closed just below its intraday high at 1,593. Across Bursa Malaysia, volume stood at 1.81 billion shares worth RM1.61 billion. Yesterday, 2.19 billion shares worth RM1.62 billion were traded.

Today, Areca Capital Sdn Bhd chief executive officer Danny Wong Teck Meng said: “A rate cut is good for equities, so maybe the market is trading on the assumption of an OPR (overnight policy rate) cut.

"Today is D-Day on Malaysia’s possible exclusion from the FTSE Russell WGBI, thus trading volume is lower. We will see the full impact of FTSE Russell's decision in tomorrow’s trading session,” he said.

Today, Bursa top gainers included Carlsberg Brewery Malaysia Bhd, Dutch Lady Milk Industries Bhd and Hong Leong Financial Group Bhd.

Top active stocks included Bumi Armada Bhd, MTAG Group Bhd and MNC Wireless Bhd.

The US-China trade war remains a key theme for global markets. Reuters reported that Asian stocks pared gains on Thursday and safe-haven assets rose as optimism for a quick resolution to the US-China trade war faded.

It was reported that Asian shares got off to a bright start after US President Donald Trump said a deal to end a nearly 15-month trade war with China "could happen sooner" than people think. However, the positive mood faded and Chinese shares fell as Trump's repeated mixed messages about trade negotiations caused investors to curb their enthusiasm, according to Reuters.