KLCI’s ascent lags behind regional peers as global sentiment turns positive

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KUALA LUMPUR (June 19): The FBM KLCI rose on the back of positive global market sentiment, boosted by optimism on US-China trade talks ahead of the G20 summit as well as Eurozone’s fresh stimulus signal.

However, the KLCI climbed at a slower pace compared with its regional peers, to close 13.78 points or 0.83% higher at 1,666.54.

Japan’s Nikkei index went up 0.72%, Hong Kong Hang Seng rose  2.56% and South Korea’s Kospi gained 1.24%.

CIMB Research analyst Nick Foo Mun Pang said that apart from the optimism on US-China trade talks and the European Central Bank’s (ECB) stimulus programme, Asian stocks were poised for positive performance ahead of a widely expected US policy rate cut.

However, Foo said there is “too much” optimism in the market that a US-China trade deal would be reached at the G-20 meeting.

“If nothing good is going to happen at the G-20 summit that begins next week in Japan, the buying momentum will likely taper off,” he said when contacted by theedgemarkets.com.

Nevertheless, Foo said the local sentiment remains positive at this juncture as Bursa Malaysia may gradually gain momentum on mid-year window-dressing activities.

“From a technical standpoint, the FBMKLCI index surpassed the 1,657 high yesterday. Barring any unforeseen circumstances, the key index could potentially rise further to test the 1,670-1,680 territory,” he said.

Reuters reported that Southeast Asian stock markets rose today following comments by ECB President Mario Draghi indicating the possibility of fresh rate cuts or asset purchases which fuelled talk of a worldwide wave of central bank stimulus.

In the Malaysian market, there were 2.42 billion shares worth some RM2.34 billion traded. Market breadth was positive, with 474 gainers versus 330 losers, while 405 counters remained unchanged.

Malaysia Airports Holdings Bhd was the biggest gainer today. Other notable gainers included Tenaga Nasional Bhd, which closed higher for the third consecutive day. The biggest loser was Hong Leong Bank Bhd.

Ekovest was the most actively traded counter, with 238.73 million shares done, followed by Iskandar Waterfront City Bhd, with 214.15 million shares traded.