KLCI rises 0.37% but stays well below 1,700

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KUALA LUMPUR (Jan 31): The FBM KLCI rose 0.37% at the midday break today, but stayed well below the crucial 1,700-point level.

At 12.30pm, the FBM KLCI was up 6.16 points to 1,690.29. The index had earlier risen to a high of 1,695.40.

Gainers led losers by 307 to 228, while 446 counters traded unchanged. Volume was 1.23 billion shares valued at RM796.05 million.

The gainers included British American Tobacco (M) Bhd, KESM Industries Bhd, Nestle (M) Bhd, PPB Group Bhd, Petronas Chemicals Group Bhd, Hong Leong Financial Group Bhd, Kuala Lumpur Kepong Bhd, Press Metal Aluminium Holdings Bhd and Malaysian Pacific Industries Bhd.

The actives included Sapura Energy Bhd, Bumi Armada Bhd, JAG Bhd. Frontken Corp Bhd, Tiger Synergy Bhd, Daya Materials Bhd, Permaju Industries Bhd and Bina Puri Holdings Bhd.

The decliners included Panasonic Manufacturing Malaysia Bhd, Petron Malaysia Refining & Marketing Bhd, Tenaga Nasional Bhd, Berjaya Media Bhd, GHL Systems Bhd, Carlsberg Brewery Malaysia Bhd and Fraser & Neave Holdings Bhd.

Southeast Asian stocks rose on Thursday, in line with broader Asia, as the US Federal Reserve held interest rates steady while signalling its three-year drive to tighten monetary policy may be at an end, according to Reuters.

A dovish Fed helped MSCI's broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan rise 0.7% to its highest since Oct 4, the newswire said.

CIMB Retail Research said the FBM KLCI Index was sluggish ahead of the US-China trade talks, with the key index losing 6.3 points yesterday.

"Today, the local market may see a late pre-Chinese New Year rally, underpinned by the overnight jump in Wall Street.

"Do not miss the 'Ang Pow' money opportunity before the Chinese New Year Festival next week. Resistance: 1,700 & 1,725. Support: 1,680 & 1,666," the research firm said.