Bursa Malaysia ends higher after volatile session

KUALA LUMPUR: Malaysia's benchmark stock index recovered from a volatile session to end on a slightly positive note as investors weighed developments in the global economy.

At 5pm, the FBM KLCI was up 1.64 points to 1,512.98 with the number of gainers on the market piping decliners 514 to 452, while 431 were unchanged.

The day's trading volume totalled 3.09 billion shares valued at RM2.17bil.

Bursa Malaysia was helped along by the bullish sentiment in China markets, which were propped up by news that Beijing will ramp up support even as President Xi Jinping met with financial regulators amid the heavy selling in the country's stock market.

The Shanghai Composite Index surged 3.2% to 2,789 on the news and Hong Kong's Hang Seng roared 4% higher to 16,136

While shaving losses accumulated year-to-date, the two indices remained 5.8% and 3.9% lower respectively.

Japan's Nikkei, meanwhile, was down 0.5% to 36,160 while South Korea's Kospi dropped 0.6% to 2,576.

The sentiment in equities markets, however, were limited by growing anxieties that investor bets over the US Federal Reserve's rate cuts were overdone.

Recent economic data indicated that the US economy remained stronger-than-expected, all but extinguishing hopes of a March revision to the lending rate.

Among Malaysia's blue chips, Nestle rose for a sixth consecutive session by RM1.30 to RM121.30 as the F&B giant is expected to benefit from the seasonal festivities.

YTL Power rose 13 sen to RM3.87 while PETRONAS Chemicals climbed six sen to RM6.74 and Sime Darby Plantation gained four sen to RM4.46.

Top actives of the day included ACE Market debutant Wendel, which closed two sen higher at 28 sen on the back of 250.78 million shares traded.

Widad, the second most active, was down one sen to 11.5 sen on 144.7 million shares changing hands while Reneuco slipped 1.5 sen to eight sen on 66.91 million shares done.

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