KLCI rises 0.66% on Fed interest rate cheer

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KUALA LUMPUR (Sept 22): Like most of its regional brethren, the FBM KLCI closed in the green territory today after the US Federal Reserve (Fed) confirmed it was maintaining interest rates.

By 5pm, the local benchmark was up by 10.93 points or 0.66% to settle at 1,669.66 points.

Supporting the benchmark index's rise today were AMMB Holdings Bhd, Astro Malaysia Holdings Bhd, Axiata Group Bhd, CIMB Group Holdings Bhd, and DiGi.Com Bhd.

JF Apex Securities Bhd senior analyst Lee Cherng Wee said share markets in the region, Malaysia's included, were propped up as investors cheered Fed's decision to not raise interest rates in the US.

"But whether there could be profit-taking tomorrow… it's not like the market has been up so much recently," he told theedgemarkets.com over telephone.

From last Thursday's (Sept 15) close of 1,652.99 points, the KLCI has gained 16.67 points or 1.01% so far this week.

Apart from maintaining borrowing costs, the Fed yesterday also revised down its projection for growth in the world's biggest economy this year to 1.8%, down 20 basis points from June.

Across Bursa Malaysia today, a total of 2.11 billion shares valued at RM2.23 billion were traded. Gainers outsized decliners, at 529 and 313 respectively.

SC Estate Builder Bhd, formerly known as Flonic Hi-Tec Bhd, was today's most actively traded counter. Runner-ups were Sanichi Technology Bhd and RHB Investment Bank Bhd's European-style call warrant for UEM Sunrise Bhd.

Today's biggest gainers included British American Tobacco (Malaysia) Bhd, Concrete Engineering Products Bhd, and KESM Industries Bhd.

The biggest decliners were Dutch Lady Milk Industries Bhd, Atlan Holdings Bhd, and Panasonic Manufacturing Malaysia Bhd.

Regionally, Hong Kong's Hang Seng Index was up by 0.39%, Korea's Kospi gained 0.67% and Australia's S&P/ASX 200 rose by 0.65%. China's Shanghai Stock Exchange Composite Index also climbed 0.54%, while the Shenzhen Stock Exchange Composite Index added 0.63%.

Neighbouring Singapore's Straits Times Index, however, fell by 0.16%, and Japan markets are closed for holiday today.