KLCI rises 0.61% as improving crude prices soothe anxious regional markets

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KUALA LUMPUR (April 23): The FBM KLCI tracked regional gains and rose 0.61% in early trade Thursday, as improving crude oil prices soothed investors’ anxiety.

At 9.05am, the FBM KLCI rose 8.55 points to 1,390.44.

The early gainers included Tenaga Nasional Bhd, Public Bank Bhd, Petronas Chemicals Group Bhd, Petronas Gas Bhd, Petron Malaysia Refining & Marketing Bhd, Carlsberg Brewery Malaysia Bhd, United Plantations Bhd and Fraser & Neave Holdings Bhd.

Bloomberg said Asian stocks edged higher, tracking gains on Wall Street, as investors took some comfort from earnings reports and signs the coronavirus outbreak is easing. Oil rebounded.

Futures in New York rose around 2% to near $14 a barrel after jumping Wednesday. Already inundated with bearish signals, the market shrugged off data showing U.S. crude stockpiles rising to a three-year high and petroleum demand at a record low, it said.

Shares saw modest gains in Tokyo, Seoul and Sydney. Futures on the S&P 500 Index dipped after the gauge rebounded from its worst sell-off in three weeks amid quarterly results. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said he anticipates most of the economy will restart by the end of August. House lawmakers on Thursday are set to pass another round of aid. Treasuries were little changed and the dollar edged higher, it said.

Rakuten Trade in its daily market report today said trading pattern over on Wall Street has been erratic to say the least as traders are having a field day with equities thus far.

“As expected, following the sell-down on Tuesday, the DJI Average recouped most of its losses by closing 450 points higher as if everything has stabilised.

“As such, we reckon regional markets may start the day on a positive note but may close off highs as many would prefer to lock in some profits.

“Locally, the FBM KLCI continued with its resilience to close above the 1,380 level yesterday. As for today, we expect the index to hover between the 1,370/90 levels with some downside bias,” it said.

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