Friday, 4 May 2012

KLCI advances as Asian markets fall

KUALA LUMPUR (May 4) : Malaysian stocks rose on Friday morning as Asian peers declined following a weaker overnight performance by US equities.

Global markets have taken the cue from weaker updates on the US’ services industry and private sector hiring, deemed crucial indicators of the health of the world’s largest economy and major importer of goods from emerging Asian countries.

In Malaysia, analysts have cautioned investors that gains in the 30-stock FBM KLCI could be curbed by domestic pre-election sentiment and global factors. As such, it will be interesting to see if the benchmark can sustain its gains.

“A strong rally above 1,600 would give the bulls the momentum to test the historical high at 1,609,” Hong Leong Investment Bank Bhd wrote in a note.

At 9.59am, the FBM KLCI added 5.28 points to 1,588.45. Across the exchange, some 318 million shares worth RM188 million were traded, leading to 261 gainers versus 155 decliners.

Top gainers BRITISH AMERICAN TOBACCO (M) [] Bhd added RM1.76 to RM57 while NESTLE (M) BHD [] was up 30 sen to RM55.80.

Among decliners, SOUTHERN ACIDS (M) BHD [] fell 21 sen to RM2.21 while GRAND HOOVER BHD [] was down 10.5 sen to 20 sen

Among actively-traded stocks, ASTRAL SUPREME BHD [] fell one sen to 31.5 sen with some 15 million shares done.

Across Asia, Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 added 0.5% to 4,406.9 points while South Korea’s Kospi fell by a similar quantum to 1,985.23. Singapore’s Straits Times was down 0.3% to 2,992.02. The Japan bourse is closed for a public holiday.

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