Investors shore up stock prices ahead of US CPI report

KUALA LUMPUR: The FBM KLCI rallied for a third straight day, in line with investor positivity over the growing likelihood of a US rate cut in September.

Tracking record-breaking performances on Wall Street, Malaysia's benchmark stock index tacked on 6.25 points to 1,624.63.

Over the course of the early session, the index had moved within a 7.25-point range of 1,621.1 to 1,628.35.

Overall, the gainers on the market outpaced the decliners 667 to 413. The share turnover was 3.04 billion valued at RM2.12bil.

All but two of the market's 13 sectors were positive, led by property stocks as well as the financial services, construction and utilities sectors.

Among the leading blue chips, QL Resources jumped 19 sen to RM6.72 and Sunway surged 13 sen to RM4.06.

Bank counters pacing higher included CIMB rising six sen to RM7.15, Hong Leong Bank adding 16 sen to RM19.26, RHB gaining six sen to RM5.59 and Maybank up two sen to RM10.04.

Of actives stocks on the broader market, Dataprep lost one sen to RM23.5 sen, SMTrack rose 0.5 sen to four sen and ATA IMS climbed five sen to 60 sen.

Shares were buoyed on Thursday as investors look forward to US inflation data tonight that is expected to show easing inflation pressures, further affirming the likelihood of the Federal Reserve dialling back interest rates.

In key Asian markets, Hong Kong's Hang Seng led gains after rising 1.54% to 17,740 while Japan's Nikkei rose 1% to 42,243.

China's composite index rallied 0.77% to 2,961 and Singapore's Straits Times added 0.42% to 3,474.

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