KUALA LUMPUR: Bursa Malaysia started Monday at a slow pace as investors awaited leads from funds though market sentiment was overall firmer ahead of the signing of a US-China trade deal.
At 9.12am, the KLCI was up 2.29 points or 0.14% to 1,593.75. Turnover was 250.25 million shares valued at RM83.21mil. There were 208 gainers, 106 losers and 220 counters unchanged.
A US-China trade deal is due to be signed at the White House on Wednesday, though talks on a phase two package are likely to drag on for months, Reuters reported.
The imminent deal, ending an 18-month trade dispute, has investors hoping for a revival in global growth. That offered support to trade-exposed Asian currencies such as China's yuan and the Australian dollar, as well as the greenback, it reported.
Oil prices edged down as fears of conflict between the United States and Iran eased, although the decline was checked by the planned signing of an initial trade deal this week, which could boost demand.
Brent crude was down 13 cents, or 0.2%, at US$64.85 per barrel at 0120 GMT. WTI was also down nine cents, or 0.2%, at US$58.95 a barrel, according to Reuters.
At Bursa Malaysia last week, foreign funds were net sellers at RM10.9mil and retail investors at RM17.4mil but the selling was absorbed by local institutions which were net buyers at RM28.2mil.
Allianz rebounded 34 sen to RM15.68 while Takaful added six sen to RM5.85.
Among the KLCI stocks, Public Bank rose 12 sen to RM19.66, IHH added nine sen to RM5.69 and PPB Group eight sen to RM18.76.
KESM advanced 24 sen to RM10.08 with just 100 shares done, Mesiniaga 13 sen to RM1.35.
APB surged 15 sen to 50 sen, Pelikan 7.5 sen to 44.5 sen and PPHB seven sen to RM1.28.
HLFG was the top loser, down 38 sen to RM16.90, MISC four sen to RM8.28, Petronas Chemicals and MAHB three sen lower at RM7.21 and RM7.02.
G3 lost nine sen to RM2.21, Apollo and Daibochi five sen each to RM3.60 and RM2.23 while Berjaya Food lost three sen to RM1.35.
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