KLCI jumps 1.39% as bargain hunting, blue chips lift

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KUALA LUMPUR (Dec 22): The FBM KLCI jumped 1.39% at the midday break on Monday, in tandem with the stronger performance at most global markets.

Buying interest also surged on firm bargain hunting after the local market slumped in December, losing RM111.52 billion in market capitalisation between Dec 1 and Dec 19.

At 12.30pm, the FBM KLCI rose 24.28 points to 1,740.27, lifted by gains including at Petronas-linked counters as well as index heavyweights Telekom Malaysia Bhd and Tenaga Nasional Bhd.

Market breadth was firmly positive with gainers outpacing losers by 557 to 193, while 205 counters traded unchanged. Volume was 815.19 million shares valued at RM673.96 million.

The top gainers in the morning session included Petronas Gas Bhd, Duth Lady Milk Industries Bhd, Nestle (M) Bhd, Petronas Dagangan Bhd, Kuala Lumpur Kepong Bhd, MISC Bhd, Telekom and Tenaga.

The actively traded stocks included Malayan United Industries Bhd, Sumatec Resources Bhd, Icon Offshore Bhd, KNM Group Bhd, Perisai Petroleum Teknologi Bhd, Bumi Armada Bhd and Kronologi Asia Bhd.

The top losers included Icon Offshore, Cahya Mata Sarawak Bhd, Asia Brands Bhd, Syarikat Takaful Malaysia Bhd and Apollo Food Holdings Bhd.

Asian shares took their cues from Wall Street and kicked off a holiday-shortened week on a strong footing on Monday, while the euro touched a fresh two-year low against the greenback on divergent monetary policy expectations, according to Reuters.

MSCI's broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan extended gains and was up 1.1 percent. Japan's Nikkei stock average erased early gains and was flat ahead of a Japanese public holiday on Tuesday, though Australian shares surged 1.6 percent, it said.

BIMB Securities Research said Japan's recommitment to its massive economic stimulus campaign pushed Asian stocks to their best day in 15 months last Friday, and oil's rebound helped bolster the flailing Russian rouble.

The research house said the Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 26.65 points, or 0.1%, to 17,804.80.

It said locally, the FBM KLCI rose 16 points to 1,715.99 as gains in banks helped push the index to a firm start on Friday, surging almost 12 points as investors' sentiments improved in tandem with Wall Street's advance.

“We expect the local market to continue this rally today with the index hovering in the region of 1,700-23,” it said.