KLCI rises 1.5% in line with regional rally as index-linked plantations lift

KLCI rises 1.5% in line with regional rally as index-linked plantations lift
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KUALA LUMPUR (March 31): The FBM KLCI rose 1.5% at mid-morning on the final trading day of the first quarter of 2020, tracking the tentative regional rally, lifted by select index-linked plantation stocks.

At 10.05am, the FBM KLCI rose 20.38 points to 1,349.26.

Advancers led decliners by 523 to 98, while 184 counters traded unchanged. Volume was 842.95 million shares valued at RM469.19 million.

The top gainers included Nestle (M) Bhd, Ajinomoto (M) Bhd, Heineken Malaysia Bhd, Panasonic Manufacturing Malaysia Bhd, Kuala Lumpur Kepong Bhd, Sime Darby Plantation Bhd, KESM Industries Bhd, Greatech Technology Bhd, Carlsberg Brewery Malaysia Bhd and ViTrox Corp Bhd.

The actives included Hubline Bhd, Vortex Consolidated Bhd, Hibiscus Petroleum Bhd, LKL International Bhd, Bumi Armada Bhd, Careplus Group Bhd, Notion VTec Bhd and UWC Bhd.

The decliners included New Hoong Fatt Holdings Bhd, Maxis Bhd, Genting Plantations Bhd, Petronas Dagangan Bhd and Malaysia-listed Hang Seng Index-linked put warrants.

Reuters said Asian share markets managed a tentative rally on Tuesday after European and US equities stabilised, though buying for month- and quarter-end book balancing likely flattered the gains.

There were also hopes a survey of Chinese manufacturing due later would show a sizeable improvement for March as factories began to re-open, it said.

Hong Leong IB Research said taking cue from Dow’s 3.2% rally overnight, KLCI could advance further towards the research house's envisaged 1,353-1,363 target due to expectations of 1Q2020 portfolios rebalancing by money managers.

“Nonetheless, further upside could be capped by uncertainties lingering from the MCO extension, more countries going into lockdown and spiking Covid-19 cases worldwide.

“We reiterate a 'Sell Into Rally' strategy and rebalance portfolio to sectors that are deemed to be more defensive as the Covid-19 is not only a public health crisis but also a global economic crisis as activities worldwide shut down,” it said.