KLCI edges higher as select blue chips lift, regional markets drift

KLCI edges higher as select blue chips lift, regional markets drift
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KUALA LUMPUR (Feb 18): The main index at Bursa Malaysia edged higher on Thursday as select blue chips lifted, against the backdrop of muted regional markets.

At 9.05am, the FBM KLCI was up 2.06 points to 1,597.35.

The early gainers included Kuala Lumpur Kepong Bhd (KLK), Widetech (Malaysia) Bhd, Petronas Dagangan Bhd (PetDag), Hengyuan Refining Company Bhd, Bursa Malaysia Bhd, Telekom Malaysia Bhd (TM), MR DIY Group (M) Bhd, Tasco Bhd and Tenaga Nasional Bhd (TNB).

Bloomberg said Asian stocks drifted after a mixed US session as investors weighed strong retail sales against concerns about inflation. Treasury yields steadied after pulling back from a one-year high.

Rakuten Trade said US equities were quite mixed amid a volatile session yesterday.

It said buying interests only emerged after the Feds reiterated their stance on maintaining interests rates low indefinitely.

“While both the S&P 500 and Nasdaq eased into negative territory, the Dow Jones Industrial Average climbed 90 points to close on another record high surpassing the 31,600 mark.

“On the local front, the FBM KLCI experienced some profit taking yesterday especially on the banks.

“Nonetheless, we reckon buying interests should return today to test the 1,600 level as both the crude oil and crude palm oil prices surging to multi-month highs.

“Brent crude is closing in on our US$65 (RM262.31)/barrel target as funds are shifting towards commodities for easy money amid the recovery process. Crude oil price is benefitting particularly from the cut on the supply side plus current cold spells in some countries. For February alone, Brent crude price has improved by 17%,” it said.