KLCI rises on bargain hunting amid positive China, US data

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KUALA LUMUR (April 2): The FBM KLCI closed 4.17 points or 0.26% higher today on bargain hunting and as global equity and commodity investors cheered positive China and US manufacturing data.

At 5pm, the KLCI closed at 1,632.8. The KLCI closed higher today after investors bargain hunted for Malaysian shares following the KLCI's 14.97-point or 0.91% decline yesterday.

Yesterday, the KLCI was dragged down mainly by declines in banking stocks after Bank Negara Malaysia said on Friday growth in outstanding loans moderated to 5% in February from January's 5.5% expansion.
Today, Malacca Securities Sdn Bhd senior analyst Kenneth Leong noted that the KLCI close is a recovery after the index ended lower yesterday. “Today’s close is also in line with the general positive sentiment across Asia Pacific stock markets, based on gains by (US shares at) Wall Street overnight. Support is also from solid economic data from US and China, as well as higher crude oil prices,” Leong told theedgemarkets.com.

Across Bursa Malaysia, 2.76 billion shares were traded for RM1.97 billion as KLCI-linked stocks Public Bank Bhd and Maxis Bhd ended among the bourse's top gainers.

Public Bank ended 22 sen higher at RM22.70 today after the stock fell 68 sen to RM22.48 yesterday.

Today, the most-active stocks included oil and gas-related companies Sapura Energy Bhd and Bumi Armada Bhd amid higher crude oil prices. Sapura Energy closed up one sen at 35.5 sen with some 168 million shares traded.

Globally, Reuters reported that Asia shares extended their rally on Tuesday as positive factory activity surveys from China and the US provided a much-needed boost to investor confidence.

It was reported that oil prices climbed to nearly five-month highs on Tuesday, supported by firm Chinese economic data that eased demand concerns, the possibility of more sanctions against Iran and further Venezuelan supply disruptions. It was reported that Brent crude rose 15 cents, or 0.2 percent, to US$69.16 a barrel by 0636 GMT, having earlier touched US$69.50, the highest since mid-November.