KLCI poised to end week on positive note, Public Bank lifts

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KUALA LUMPUR (Feb 23): The FBM KLCI looked poised to end the week on a positive note in line with the rebound at regional markets, lifted by select blue chips including Public Bank Bhd.

At 12.30pm, the FBM KLCI was up 2.71 points to 1,857.78. The index had earlier slipped to its intra-morning low of 1,853.66.

Decliners led advancers by 308 to 279, while 660 counters traded unchanged. Volume was 2.15 billion shares valued at RM1.09 billion.

The gainers included Nestle (M) Bhd, Heineken Malaysia Bhd, Dutch Lady Milk Industries Bhd, Public Bank, Apex Healthcare Bhd, Hartalega Holdings Bhd, Innoprise Plantations Bhd, Top Glove Corp Bhd and George Kent (M) Bhd.

The actives included DGB Asia Bhd, Ho Wah Genting Bhd, Diversified Gateway Solutions Bhd, Sino Hua-An International Bhd, Berjaya Land Bhd, PUC Bhd and AirAsia X Bhd.

The decliners included KESM Industries Bhd, Petron Malaysia Refining & Marketing Bhd, Ge-Shen Corp Bhd, Malaysian Pacific Industries Bhd, Malaysia Smelting Corp Bhd, Unisem (M) Bhd and Petronas Gas Bhd.

Asian shares rebounded on Friday as comments from a Federal Reserve (Fed) official eased worries about faster rate rises in the United States, while the safe-haven yen held on to its gains amid heightened volatility across markets, said Reuters.

Financial markets have fluctuated wildly this month as investors fretted about how fast the Fed might raise rates in the wake of data showing a pickup in US inflation, it said.

Hong Leong IB Research in a traders' brief said traders may continue to focus on the fluctuation of treasury yield and the market is likely to reassess the potential impact of a higher interest rate environment.

"Hence, Wall Street may extend its consolidation phase over the near term after the sharp rebound three weeks back.

"On the local front, we believe the recent consolidation phase may be a good entry point to selected GLCs ahead of the widely anticipated GE14 this year.

"At the same time, traders could monitor stocks movement during the ongoing reporting season to participate in potential explosive move should there be companies reporting stronger-than-expected results," it said.