KUALA LUMPUR (April 17): The FBM KLCI rose 2.94 points or 0.2% on bargain hunting and after China reported first quarter economic growth, which beat market forecast.
At 5pm, the KLCI settled at 1,733.93 points as bargain hunters picked up cheap stocks after the index fell 7.19 points last Friday.
Today, Malaysian shares also rose on news that major trading partner China's economy, as measured by gross domestic product (GDP), grew 6.9% in the first quarter of 2017 (1Q17) from a year earlier.
Reuters reported that China's economy grew 6.9 percent in the first quarter from a year earlier, slightly faster than expected, supported by a government infrastructure spending spree and a frenzied housing market that is showing signs of overheating.
Analysts polled by Reuters had expected the economy to expand 6.8 percent in the first quarter, the same pace as in the fourth quarter of 2016.
RHB (China) Investment Advisory Co Ltd economist Fan Zhang wrote in a note today that although China's economic growth momentum might continue in 2Q17, RHB expected China to contend with headwinds from the second half.
He said the headwinds included "more cooling measures in the property market and sluggish recovery of private consumption due to slower income growth and less demand for automobiles."
"As such, GDP growth could slide towards 6.5% y-o-y in 2H17 and slow down further to 6.4% in 2018," he said.
Across Bursa Malaysia, trading volume was 2.89 billion shares worth RM1.78 billion. There were 456 gainers versus 397 decliners.
Mercury Securities Sdn Bhd research head Edmund Tham observed that Bursa Malaysia's trading value over volume remained low. Tham said this suggested that investors’ attention might still be on small market capitalisation counters.
Source: The Edge