KLCI pares gains, stays on course to close day higher

KLCI pares gains, stays on course to close day higher
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KUALA LUMPUR (March 5): The FBM KLCI pared some of its gains but remained in positive territory at mid-morning Thursday, tracking the gains at regional markets following the overnight surge at Wall Street.

At 10.05am, the FBM KLCI was up 4.83 points to 1,494.78. The index had earlier risen to a high of 1,497.31.

Gainers led losers by 371 to 186, while 285 counters traded unchanged. Volume was 739.53 million shares valued at RM376.98 million.

The gainers included Nestle (M) Bhd, Heineken Malaysia Bhd, Carlsberg Brewery Malaysia Bhd, Panasonic Manufacturing Malaysia Bhd, Amway (M) Holdings Bhd, Petronas Chemicals Group Bhd, KKB Engineering Bhd, Kumpulan Powernet Bhd, Petronas Dagangan Bhd and Scientex Bhd.

The actives included Vortex Consolidated Bhd, KNM Group Bhd, Sapura Energy Bhd, Careplus Holdings Bhd, Bumi Armada Bhd and Tiger Synergy Bhd.

The losers included Atlan Holdings Bhd, Batu Kawan Bhd, Genting Plantations Bhd, Gopeng Bhd, British American Tobacco (M) Bhd and Hong Leong Bank Bhd.

Reuters said Asian shares were looking to rally for a fourth straight session on Thursday as US markets swung sharply higher and another dose of central bank stimulus offered some salve for the global economic outlook.

Wall Street seemed to find relief in the strong performance of former vice president Joe Biden in the Democratic nomination campaign. Biden is considered less likely to raise taxes and impose new regulations than rival Bernie Sanders, it said.

Hong Leong IB Research said with the Federal Reserve introducing the 50 basis points cut yesterday, coupled with the US$8 billion emergency fund being passed by the lawmakers to combat the Covid-19 outbreak in the US, the sentiment has stabilised and the Dow could remain positive over the near term.

“Next major event that traders will be monitoring will be the FOMC meeting that will be held on March 17-18. Meanwhile, should the headlines on Covid-19 continue to worsen, we expect profit taking to emerge.

“With the calmer political scene, coupled with positive performance on Wall Street, we expect buying interest could spill over towards stocks on the local front, lifting the key index towards 1,500-1,515 eventually, while support is set around 1,444-1,450.

“Also, traders will be focusing on gloves, masks, sanitisers related stocks amid the ongoing Covid-19 outbreak,” it said.