KLCI up as Petronas Gas tops Bursa gainers

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KUALA LUMPUR (Dec 21): The FBM KLCI gained 4.58 points or 0.3%, mainly on late buying of Petronas Gas Bhd shares amid fund managers' extended window dressing activities.

At 5pm, the KLCI closed at 1,751.21 points. Petronas Gas rose 58 sen to RM16.96 to become Bursa Malaysia's biggest gainer.

Across Bursa Malaysia, decliners outweighed gainers at 440 to 375 respectively. Trading volume was 2.48 billion shares worth RM2.06 billion.

Malacca Securities Sdn Bhd senior research analyst Kenneth Leong told theedgemarkets.com that the KLCI benefitted from fund managers' extended window dressing particularly on Petronas-related counters like Petronas Gas and Petronas Chemicals Group Bhd.

“We expect the market to be muted moving into the post-Christmas holiday period as investors lock in their profits. We were seeing some of them doing so today judging from the negative market breadth,” Leong said.

Across Asian share markets, Japan’s Nikkei 225 fell 0.11% while South Korea's Kospi declined 1.72%. Hong Kong's Hang Seng gained 0.45%.

Reuters reported that Asian markets offered a muted reception on Thursday to the passage of US tax cuts as benefits to company bottom lines were already factored into stock prices, while bonds were spooked by the blowout in government debt needed to fund the giveaways.

It was reported that South Korea was dragged down by weakness in Samsung, but Indonesia rose after Fitch upgraded the country's credit rating.