Growing confidence pushes KLCI past 1,450 mark

KUALA LUMPUR: Bursa Malaysia eked past the psychologically important resistance of 1,450 at the end of Wednesday trading as markets showed growing confidence over the recovery of the global economy.

At 5pm, the FBM KLCI was up 14.97 points to 1.451.73. The local bourse continued to chalk up heavy trading volumes with Wednesday's tally surpassing 7.2 billion shares valued at RM4.78bil.

In its first day of trading after the Aidilfitri holidays, Bursa Malaysia was seen playing catch-up with global markets. The positive performance came despite a fresh wave of unrest in Hong Kong as protestors took to the streets in response to Beijing's proposal to enact a national security law in the city.

Hong Kong's Hang Seng Index slipped 0.4% as investors worried over disruption to the economy. There were also fears that China's move to clamp down on protestors would further strain its relationship with the US, leading Shanghai's Composite index 0.3% lower.

Elsewhere, most Asian markets were upbeat amid reports of countries easing their lockdowns while reports that the first human trial of a coronavirus vaccine was starting raised hopes of an end to the coronavirus crisis.

Key Southeast Asian markets were mostly higher although Singapore's Straits Times Index bucked the trend with a 0.4% loss.

In Malaysia, glove makers ascended to fresh record prices to lead the benchmark KLCI higher. Top Glove ended RM1.04 higher at RM12.86 after earlier rising to RM13.32. Hartalega climbed 88 sen to RM10.88.

Other advancing stocks on the index included Petronas Chemicals gaining 15 sen to RM6.05, MISC rising 20 sen to RM8.28 and IOI climbing 10 sen to RM4.50.

Of actives, Sanichi rose three sen to nine sen, XOX gained 1.5 sen to 6.5 sen and Key Alliance added one sen to 8.5 sen.

Oil prices slipped on Wednesday as US-China ties were tested over Beijing's tightening of control over Hong Kong. US crude dropped 27 cents to US$34.07 a barrel and Brent crude fell 42 cents to US$35.75 a barrel.

On the forex market, the ringgit was 0.3% higher against the US dollar at 4.3460, 0.6% stronger against the pound sterling at 5.3470 and 0.5% better against the Singapore dollar at 3.0638.
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