KLCI starts higher after crude oil, US share price rise

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KUALA LUMPUR (Oct 24): The FBM KLCI opened higher today before extending gains as world markets took cue from crude oil and US equity prices' overnight rise.

At 9am today, the KLCI opened up 0.17 point at 1,568.96. At 9:06am, the index was 2.31 points higher at 1,571.10. 

At 9:14am, Bursa Malaysia top gainers included KLCI stocks MISC Bhd and Tenaga Nasional Bhd.  On the KLCI, Affin Hwang Investment Bank Bhd wrote in a note today that from a technical viewpoint, the break below the 1,580 support level indicates the resumption of the prevailing downward movement in the index.

"Overall, (the KLCI's) downward trend remains intact. Next week, market focus will be on the small and mid-cap growth stocks, which have consolidated or corrected significantly whereas big-caps will continue to correct," Affin Hwang said.

Overnight in the US, Reuters reported that the Dow Jones Industrial Average closed up 45.85 points, or 0.17%, at 26,833.95, the S&P 500 gained 8.53 points, or 0.28%, to 3,004.52 and the Nasdaq Composite added 15.50 points, or 0.19%, to 8,119.79. It was reported that with no new developments in trade relations, focus turned to earnings and other announcements from individual companies.

In crude oil markets, it was reported that oil rose about 2.5% on Wednesday after government data showed a surprise draw in US crude stocks and as the prospect of deeper output cuts by OPEC and its allies offered support.

"US crude stocks fell 1.7 million barrels last week as refineries hiked crude runs by 429,000 barrels per day and oil imports fell, the Energy Information Administration said. Analysts had expected an increase of 2.2 million barrels. Brent crude futures settled at US$61.17 a barrel, up US$1.47, or 2.5%. West Texas Intermediate crude futures rose US$1.49, or 2.7%, to end at US$55.97 a barrel," Reuters reported.