KLCI tracks higher as US stimulus hopes lift

KUALA LUMPUR: The FBM KLCI bounced higher on Wednesday, tracking the positive global sentiment that was sparked by hopes of a large fiscal stimulus package in the US.

At 12.30pm, the key index was up 12.98 points to 1,614.86, ahead of the inauguration of US President-elect Joe Biden, who has planned a US$1.9 trillion stimulus package to boost the economy and facilitate the distribution of the Covid-19 vaccines.

The positive performance on Bursa Malaysia also came ahead of Bank Negara's monetary policy decision, which analysts say might see a further reduction in the lending rate.

Bank stocks were up on a growing positive outlook over the global economy, negating fears of tighter margins for the lenders moving forward.

Maybank was up 11 sen to RM8.21, Public Bank jumped 62 sen to RM21.52, CIMB gained two sen to RM4.02 and Hong Leong Bank added 10 sen to RM17.54.

Nevertheless, Malacca Securities Research believes a potential OPR cut might drag on the FBM KLCI to under the 1,600-point level.

"Closing just above its support level, the FBM KLCI may be trading sideways over the near term," it said following yesterday's negative performance.

On the broader market, technology stocks were also seen reaching new multi-year highs amid the continued shift towards digital services as businesses seek to resolve disruptions to operations. At noon, The Bursa Malaysia Technology Index was up another 2.4% to 79.32.

Most actively traded counters include market debutant HPPHB surging 22 sen to 58 sen, Vizione falling 3.5 sen to 27 sen and Mtouche up 0.5 sen to seven sen.

Meanwhile, China's composite index retraced its early-morning gains to end flat amid reports that investors were flocking to the country's stock exchange to capitalise on an expected 2021 bull run.

Hong Kong's Hang Seng extended yesterday's rally to rise a further 0.25%.

Japan's Nikkei was down 0.6%, South Korea's Kospi fell 0.3% and Australia's ASX200 added 0.5%.

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Bursa Malaysia , FBM KLCI , equities


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