KUALA LUMPUR: The FBM KLCI eked out a slight advance on Wednesday as stronger-than-expected Chinese loans data helped to lift regional equities.
According to Reuters, data showed China's new bank loans rebounded more than expected in November, signaling that recent cuts to key lending rates were finding some traction.
Asian markets had started out on a weaker footing on Wednesday owing to anxieties over the looming deadline for US tariffs on Chinese goods.
However by the end of trading, MSCI's broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan rose 0.5%.
Hong Kong's Hang Seng and Australia's S&P/ASX 200 each recorded gains of 0.7%. Shanghai's blue chips index rose 0.2%.
At 5pm, the FBM KLCI was up 1.4 points to 1,563.19. Trading volume was 2.37 billion shares valued at RM1.71bil. Market breadth turned positive with 421 advacners, 379 decliners and 382 counters unchanged.
Among the top actively traded stocks, Ecoworld jumped 10 sen to 74.5 sen. It was followed by AT, unchanged at five sen, and WCE climbing three sen to 33.5 sen.
Some heavyweights seeing positive price action included Petronas Dagangan adding 80 sen to RM23.30, IHH jumping 15 sen to RM5.40 and CIMB lifting three sen to RM5.17.
Based on its weighting, IHH was the single biggest contributor to the KLCI for the Wednesday session.
On the declining end of things, Tenaga dropped 18 sen to RM13.08, Hong Leong Bank lost six sen to RM16.74 and Petronas Gas dropped eight sen to RM15.34.
In the spotlight today following its recent earnings announcement, BERMAZ AUTO dropped 10 sen to RM2.05.
Quality Concrete, which hit limit up in the previous session, surged a further 25 sen or 22.73% to RM1.35, on news of its unit's contract for managing Sarawak state roads.
Oil prices meanwhile continued to fall on the surprise build up in US crude stockpiles. US crude was down 31 cents to US$58.91 a barrel while Brent crude dropped 37 cents to US$63.97 a barrel.
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