KLCI rises 0.66% as regional markets stay flat

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KUALA LUMPUR (Feb 4): The FBM KLCI rose 0.66% in early trade this morning, in a holiday shortened trading week, against the backdrop of flattish regional markets.

At 9.05am, the FBM KLCI rose 11.26 points to 1,694.79.

The gainers included Hong Leong Bank Bhd, Petronas Gas Bhd, Kuala Lumpur Kepong Bhd, Malaysian Paciific Industries Bhd, Tenaga Nasional Bhd, Heineken Malaysia Bhd, Public Bank Bhd, Petronas Dagangan Bhd and Carlsberg Brewery Malaysia Bhd.

Asia stocks were barely moved on Monday, staying near a four-month high after Wall Street's tepid pre-weekend performance, while the dollar was supported against the yen following strong U.S. jobs and manufacturing data, according to Reuters.

MSCI's broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan was basically unchanged, capped below the four-month peak scaled on Friday, it said.

Hong Leong IB Research said near term Dow’s prospects remain sanguine following strong U.S. economic data Friday and positive comments out of Washington on the trade talks.

“Nevertheless, investors are likely to stay mildly cautious, pending further trade talks details.

“Meanwhile, despite recent 75% of the S&P 500 companies that reported so far managed to beat a sharp markdown in earnings and revenue expectations, 1Q19 earnings projections remain tepid and are likely to cap further strong gains ahead, with stiff resistances at 25200-25500 levels,” it said.

At the local market, HLIB Research said potential trade deal between the US and China by end Feb and a dovish Fed would help risk-on sentiment in this holiday-shortened week with the KLCI to recapture the 1700 psychological barrier.

“Besides, the oil & gas sector is likely to remain actively traded with the firmer Brent oil prices rallied 1.8% WoW to US$62.80,” it said.