KLCI rises 0.56%, tracks regional advance

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KUALA LUMPUR (Oct 30): The FBM KLCI rose 0.56% at the midday break today, tracking regional markets that advanced on improved sentiment as investor nerves were calmed by US President Donald Trump.

At 12.30pm, the FBM KLCI rose 9.41 points to 1,693.14.

Gainers edged losers by 341 to 338, while 1,221 counters traded unchanged. Volume was 1.17 billion shares valued at RM722.27 million.

The gainers included Tenaga Nasional Bhd, Hong Leong Financial Group Bhd, MISC Bhd, Heineken Malaysia Bhd, Malayan Banking Bhd, IOI Corp Bhd, AirAsia Group Bhd and UMW Holdings Bhd.

The actives included Datasonic Group Bhd, Sapura Energy Bhd, Hibiscus Petroleum Bhd, Seacera Group Bhd, Hubline Bhd, My EG Services Bhd and Iris Corp Bhd.

The losers included Nestle (M) Bhd, Ajinomoto (M) Bhd, British American Tobacco (M) Bhd, Aeon Credit Service (M) Bhd, ViTrox Corp Bhd, MBM Resources Bhd and Scicom (MSC) Bhd.

Asian stocks turned higher after Trump spoke about a "great" deal with China on trade, helping ease concerns after a report that the US is preparing to put tariffs on all Chinese imports, according to Bloomberg.

Australia's dollar, often considered a proxy for bets on China, also advanced after Trump told Fox News that he envisions a trade deal, though cautioned he didn't think Beijing was ready for one yet. The yen retreated, helping Japanese equities outperform the broader region. China's stocks rose, reversing earlier losses, though Hong Kong's benchmark stayed lower. Futures on the S&P 500 Index advanced after the benchmark had slumped Monday. The yuan was little changed after earlier hitting its weakest against the US dollar in a decade, it said.

Affin Hwang Capital Research said the FBM KLCI Index closed flat again (up 0.67 points) in the last session even though market breadth was negative — 223 gainers, 558 losers.

"Prices have been hovering sideways for the past three days.

"Investors should keep a close watch on whether the immediate 1,650 support level will hold or will be broken convincingly to determine further direction," it said.