KUALA LUMPUR (April 13): The FBM KLCI gained 8.11 points or 0.5%, tracking Asian stock market gains after China reported that exports grew 11.5% in March from a year earlier.
At 5pm, the KLCI closed at 1,723.11 points on gains in stocks like Hong Leong Financial Group Bhd, AMMB Holdings Bhd and SapuraKencana Petroleum Bhd.
In China share markets, the Shanghai Composite advanced 1.42% while Hong Kong's Hang Seng gained 3.19%. Japan's Nikkei 225 rose 2.84%
Reuters reported that Asian shares came close to their highs for the year on Wednesday after surprisingly upbeat Chinese trade data offered hope the Asian giant was finally stabilising, underpinning both risk sentiment and commodity prices.
China reported exports jumped 11.5% in March compared to a year earlier, the first increase since June and well above market forecasts. That was a huge improvement on February, even though data at this time of year tends to be distorted by the Lunar New Year holidays.
In Malaysia, Malacca Securities Sdn Bhd analyst Kenneth Leong told theedgemarkets.com that stronger crude oil prices had also lifted the stock market.
Today, crude oil prices fell on profit taking after rising some 4% in overnight trades.
Reuters reported that as of 0716 GMT, Brent crude had dropped 78 cents to US$43.90 a barrel, or 1.7%, after hitting a four-month high in the previous session, when it settled up US$1.86, or 4.3%.
Leong said via telephone: "Some bargain hunting (in the KLCI) began after the market was down for two to three days on profit-taking."
Across Bursa Malaysia, 1.85 billion shares valued at RM2.06 billion were traded. Gainers outnumbered decliners at 468 against 390.
P.I.E Industrial Bhd and British America Tobacco (Malaysia) Bhd were among top gainers while leading decliners included Scientex Bhd and Panasonic Manufacturing Malaysia Bhd.
Green Packet Bhd was the most actively-traded stock.