KLCI opens higher in line with regional gains

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KUALA LUMPUR (March 17): The FBM KLCI started Thursday on a higher note and rose in line with the gains at most regional markets, lifted by key blue chips.

At 9.01am, the FBM KLCI rose 5.51 points to 1,698.94.

The top gainers included British American Tobacco (M) Bhd, Kuala Lumpur Kepong Bhd, Petronas Dagangan Bhd, Sapura Resources Bhd, Petronas Gas Bhd, Top Glove Corporation Bhd, Public Bank Bhd, Genting Plantations Bhd, Tenaga Nasional Bhd and MISC Bhd.

Asian shares gained early on Thursday and the dollar was on the defensive after suffering substantial losses following the U.S. Federal Reserve's move to reduce the number of interest rate hikes planned for this year, according to Reuters.

The potential for more money to continue flowing into commodities and equities, rather being lured by higher U.S. interest rates, boosted crude oil and emerging market stocks, it said.

JF Apex Securities Research in a market preview today said US markets climbed overnight after higher oil prices and the Federal Reserve kept interest rate unchanged and reduced projections for the number of rate hikes to two in 2016.

It said that earlier, European stocks were mixed after UK's budget announcement saw lower growth and productivity forecasts.

“On the local market, the FBM KLCI gained 2.51 points to 1693.43 points.

“Following the mixed performance in the US and Europe, the FBM KLCI is expected to remain buoyed with a positive bias with resistance at 1710 points,” it said.