KLCI rises 0.61% as Public Bank leads lift

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KUALA LUMPUR (Dec 19): The FBM KLCI rose 0.61% at mid-morning today, lifted by select blue chips including Public Bank Bhd, while regional markets stayed tentative.

At 10am, the FBM KLCI rose 9.98 points to 1,645.29.

Gainers led losers by 283 to 187, while 204 counters traded unchanged. Volume was 515.46 million shares valued at RM330.39 million.

The top gainers included Nestle (M) Bhd, Heineken Malaysia Bhd, Public Bank, Fraser & Neave Holdings Bhd, PPB Group Bhd, Hong Leong Financial Group Bhd, IHH Healthcare Bhd, SAM Engineering & Equipment (M) Bhd, Genting Bhd and Genting Malaysia Bhd.

The actives included Hibiscus Petroleum Bhd, Sapura Energy Bhd, Hubline Bhd, Genting Malaysia, V.S. Industry Bhd, Sanichi Technology Bhd, Bumi Armada Bhd, Permaju Industries Bhd and Tatt Giap Group Bhd.

The decliners included Petronas Dagangan Bhd, Dialog Group Bhd, Top Glove Corp Bhd, United Plantations Bhd, Carlsberg Brewery Malaysia Bhd, Press Metal Aluminium Holdings Bhd, Genting Plantations Bhd, Petronas Chemicals Group Bhd and Aeon Credit Service (M) Bhd.

Asian share markets played second fiddle to bonds on Wednesday as a spectacular fall in the price of oil fanned speculation the US Federal Reserve (Fed) might be done with tightening after its policy meeting later in the day, according to Reuters.

MSCI's broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan gained 0.2% in hesitant early trade. Japan's Nikkei eased 0.1%, while E-Mini futures for the S&P 500 inched up 0.17%, it said.

Hong Leong IB Research in a traders' brief said that overall, Wall Street is expected to continue experiencing bouts of volatility as the Fed is widely expected to raise rates by 25 basis points tomorrow.

"However, expectations for further rate hikes in 2019 have dampened and could cushion further slump in financial markets (likely to reduce the quantum of previously scheduled three hikes) amid concerns of a potential slowdown in economic growth. Key resistances are 24,000-24,300 while supports are near 23,000-23,300.

"On the local front, sentiment is likely to remain tepid as local and external headwinds should continue to buffet domestic equities.

"Rising US-China trade turmoil and a slowing global economy, coupled with subdued commodity prices that exacerbate Malaysia's persistent weak fiscal profile and the weakening corporate earnings are main drags. Major supports are set at 1,614-1,626 whilst resistances are near 1,665-1,678," it said.