KUALA LUMPUR (April 7): The FBM KLCI closed 2.16 points or 0.12% higher today, helped by last minute trade in index-linked banking stocks, as investors largely adopted a cautious stance ahead of the release of US jobs data.
An analyst said the cautious sentiment was also due to US President Donald Trump's meeting soon with Chinese President Xi Jinping, with investors looking for clues on the relationship between the leaders of the two superpowers.
"There was a last minute buying support in select banking heavyweights, particularly Malayan Banking Bhd and Public Bank Bhd. And of course, we are waiting to see how the two leaders will react when they meet each other," Malacca Securities Sdn Bhd' senior analyst Kenneth Leong told theedgemarkets.com.
The KLCI closed at 1,741.72 points, as against 1,739.56 yesterday.
The broader market saw losers outpacing gainers by 535 to 425. Some 5.22 billion shares valued at RM3.39 billion changed hands, giving a total market capitalisation of RM1.81 trillion.
"It's a very hot market today," Areca Capital Sdn Bhd chief executive officer Danny Wong told theedgemarkets.com. "Interest keeps on increasing and foreign funds have been dumping their monies in our bourse in search for emerging, defensive and high-yielding stocks."
Among actives, security solutions firm Iris Corp Bhd saw a whopping 213.28 million shares traded, equivalent 9.5% of its share capital. Iris closed up three sen or 19.4% at 18.5 sen.
Gainers were led by food seasonings producer Ajinomoto (Malaysia) Bhd, while the top decliner was electronic products producer Panasonic Manufacturing Malaysia Bhd.
On the regional front, Japan's Nikkei225 and China's CSI300 index closed 0.36% and 0.1% higher respectively, while Hong Kong's Hang Seng Index dropped 0.03%.
Altogether, the MSCI Asia Pacific Index ended 0.82% lower.
Leong expects the KLCI to trade rangebound between 1,730 and 1,750 points next week due to "lack of local fresh catalysts".
Source: The Edge