KLCI tracks Asian equity gains as plantation shares improve sentiment

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KUALA LUMPUR (Oct 12): The FBM KLCI closed up 3.32 points or 0.19% as plantation shares rose after the Malaysian Palm Oil Board said Sept palm oil output fell while exports rose. At 5pm, the KLCI ended at 1,709.86 points.

Malaysian plantation sector sentiment augured well for crude palm oil (CPO) prices; hence, the demand for plantation shares like Sime Darby Bhd, Kuala Lumpur Kepong Bhd (KLK), Batu Kawan Bhd and IJM Plantations Bhd.

Bursa Malaysia's top gainer Batu Kawan owns 47% of KLK. IJM Plantations is the ninth-largest gainer. CPO futures for Dec 2015 rose RM42 to RM2,259 a tonne.

The KLCI also tracked better regional share market performance. In China, the Shanghai Composite gained 3.3% while Hong Kong's Hang Seng added 1.21%

Japan markets were closed for holiday today.

Reuters reported that Asian shares rose on Monday, extending an October rally, as investors hunted for bargains in industrials and basic materials, fuelled by a rebound in commodities while the dollar struggled as hopes of a Fed rate rise this year faded.

In Malaysia, Public Investment Bank Bhd research head Ching Weng Jin told theedgemarkets.com over telephone that "market breadth is positive but the performance of the key index is still dependent on regional market sentiment".

"The sentiment has recovered and the (gaining) momentum should be sustained. We have probably seen a bit of profit taking as the market has gone up quite strongly over last couple of days," Ching said.

Bursa Malaysia saw 430 advancers versus 404 decliners while 327 counters were unchanged. A total of 2.09 billion shares valued at RM2.205 billion changed hands.

The top decliner was British American Tobacco (M) Bhd while the most-actively traded stock was AirAsia Bhd.

(Note: The Edge Research's fundamental score reflects a company's profitability and balance sheet strength, calculated based on historical numbers. The valuation score determines if a stock is attractively valued or not, also based on historical numbers. A score of 3 suggests strong fundamentals and attractive valuations.)