KUALA LUMPUR (Dec 10): The FBM KLCI ended the trading day on a higher note today, posting a gain of 0.09% as bargain hunting and positive news flow on scheduled US tariffs on Chinese goods swayed investors.
Upon the ring of the closing bell, the local benchmark index closed 1.4 points higher at 1,563.19 points.
According to Rakuten Trade Research vice-president Vincent Lau, some bargain hunting emerged amid hopes that the scheduled tariff hike might be postponed.
"On top of that, regionally there are more green movements than red, and this could be a reaction to (news) reports suggesting that scheduled US tariffs on Chinese goods would be delayed," said Lau.
Constituent stocks that saw gains today were Petronas Dagangan Bhd, IHH Healthcare Bhd and Press Metal Aluminium Holdings Bhd. Meanwhile, the laggards of the local benchmark index were Sime Darby Bhd, Tenaga Nasional Bhd and Genting Malaysia Bhd.
Overall, some 2.37 billion shares worth RM1.71 billion were traded across Bursa Malaysia, with 405 counters posting gains, 357 counters posting declines and 420 counters remaining unchanged at the end of the trading day.
Reuters reported that most Southeast Asian markets today were subdued, ahead of the looming tariff deadline for Chinese imports entering the US.
This is despite reports indicating that both Chinese and US trade negotiators are laying the groundwork to delay the fresh US tariffs, which left untouched would come into force on Dec 15 (this Sunday).
Officials from both sides have indicated that this Sunday is not the final date to reach "phase-one" of the deal, as stated in a Wall Street Journal report. However, US President Donald Trump is set to increase tariffs on US$165 billion of Chinese goods come Sunday.
Investors are now suspecting that if Sunday's tariffs are delayed, it could take up to next year before a preliminary deal between the two economic powers is ironed out.
Moreover, markets are awaiting comments from the Federal Reserve's policy meeting, which ends today.
The Shanghai Composite Index gained 0.24% or 7.1 points to 2,924.42 points, while the Hang Seng Index rose 0.79% or 208.81 points to 26,645.43 points.
The Kospi ended the day 0.36% or 7.62 points higher at 2,105.62 points while the Nikkei 225 closed 0.08% or 18.33 points lower at 23,391.86 points.