Equities press higher on Fed decision to stay status quo

  • Markets
  • Thursday, 12 Dec 2019

KUALA LUMPUR: Local equities tracked global markets higher as the US Federal Reserve maintained its interest rate and signaled that it may keep borrowing costs unchanged through 2020.

Although widely expected, Fed chairman Jerome Powell's announcement was well received amid investor tensions as the Dec 15 deadline for fresh US tariffs on Chinese goods drew closer.

MSCI's broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan rose 0.2%. Japan's Nikkei stock index climbed 0.11% and US stock futures rose 0.06%. Australian shares were down 0.29%, however, weighed by the energy sector after the fall in oil prices

At 9.05am, the FBM KLCI was 0.66 points higher at 1,563.85. Trading volume was 129.43 million shares valued at RM62.03mil. There were 145 advancers, 109 decliners and 172 counters unchanged.

Kenanga research noted that while the index remains trading below all its key simple moving averages, there is a possibility of a continuation relief rebound given yesterday's price-chart formation of a "bullish invesrted hammer".

"From here on, the overhead resistance can be seen at 1,630 (R1) and 1,650 (R2). Conversely, immediate support levels can be found at 1,550 (R1) and 1,540 (R2)," it said.

The most active shares in the opening minutes of trade were Ecoworld up five sen to 79.5 sen, SAPURA ENERGY unchanged at 26 sen and UOA Development up one sen to RM2.07.

Among the heavyweights, Petronas Gas was seen rising 50 sen to RM15.84 while MISC jumped 27 sen to RM8.57.

On the losing side, KL Kepong dropped 12 sen to RM34.48, PPB gave up 12 sen to RM18.22 and Hong Leong Bank slid 12 sen to RM16.62.

In the spotlight today, BIMB rose eight sen to RM4.36 on positive comments by analysts over its group restructuring plan.

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