KLCI rises 0.88% to cross 1,700 threshold

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KUALA LUMPUR (Nov 29): The FBM KLCI rose 0.88% at the midday break today to cross the 1,700-point threshold, tracking regional gains.

At 12.30pm, the FBM KLCI was up 14.88 points to 1,701.43. The index had earlier risen to a high of 1,702.63.

Gainers trailed losers by 348 to 391, while 319 counters traded unchanged. Volume was 976.16 million shares valued at RM969.84 million.

The top gainers included PPB Group Bhd, Nestle (M) Bhd, Heineken Malaysia Bhd, Kuala Lumpur Kepong Bhd, Carlsberg Brewery Malaysia Bhd, Hong Leong Financial Group Bhd, IHH Healthcare Bhd, Time dotCom Bhd, Cahya Mata Sarawak Bhd, Malaysia Airports Holdings Bhd and Axiata Group Bhd.

The actives included Genting Malaysia Bhd, Tatt Giap Group Bhd, AirAsia X Bhd, Sanichi Technology Bhd, Permaju Industries Bhd, Nova MSC Bhd, Hibiscus Petroleum Bhd and Prestariang Bhd.

The decliners included Ajinomoto (M) Bhd, Fraser & Neave Holdings Bhd, Petronas Dagangan Bhd, Dutch Lady Milk Industries Bhd, Hengyuan Refining Company Bhd, Chin Teck Plantations Bhd, Batu Kawan Bhd and Genting Bhd.

Asian stocks advanced on Thursday, tracking a surge on Wall Street, after the US Federal Reserve chairman Jerome Powell suggested it may be nearing an end to its three-year rate tightening cycle, boosting interest in riskier assets, according to Reuters.

The US dollar struggled and US Treasury yields dipped after Powell said on Wednesday that US policy rates were "just below" neutral, less than two months after saying rates were probably "a long way" from that point, it said.

Hong Leong IB Research in a traders' brief said sentiment has changed from downward bias to positive bias following the comments from the chief economic adviser, Larry Kudlow, suggesting optimism on trade resolution.

"Also, dovish comments from Powell lifted the sentiment. Nevertheless, should there be any negative surprises from the G20 summit, OPEC and FOMC meetings, profit-taking activities may return.

"Tracking the strong rebound on Wall Street, we anticipate the buying support to further emerge on the local front, supporting the FBM KLCI at least for the near term.

"Meanwhile, traders could be focusing in export-oriented stocks as the USD/MYR is still on a weakening bias outlook," it said.