KLCI extends gains on US markets



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KUALA LUMPUR (Jan 9): The FBM KLCI rose nine points or 0.5%, tracking Asian equities' advance following overnight US market gains.

Malaysia's KLCI was traded at 1,737.06 at 9.04am as stocks like Tenaga Nasional Bhd and Sime Darby Bhd gained.

The KLCI extended gains after yesterday's 18.88-point or 1.1% rise at 1,728.06.

Today, analysts, however, said they were mindful of the sustainability in the KLCI's advance.

Hong Leong Investment Bank Bhd analyst Nick Foo Mun Pang said Malaysian economic growth concerns and the weaker ringgit were among factors seen curbing the KLCI's rise.
"Despite overseas markets rebounding strongly for a 2nd consecutive session, nagging concerns over the health of the Malaysian economy and corporate earnings, renewed uncertainties in the mega CIMB/RHBCAP/MBSB merger coupled with short to medium-term weak ringgit outlook may cap further strong rebound beyond 1,750 (downtrend line) zones.

"Key supports are situated at 1,693 and 1,700,  Foo said.

Bursa Malaysia saw 100.35 million shares valued at RM53.02 million changed hands. There were 209 gainers and 40 decliners.

The top gainer was British American Tobacco (M) Bhd while Scientex Inc Bhd led decliners. The most-active stock was IFCA MSC Bhd.

The ringgit was traded at 3.5530 versus the US dollar at 8.57am. Against the Singapore dollar, the ringit changed hands at 2.6593.

Across Asia, Japan's Nikkei 225 rose 0.86% while South Korea's Kospi climbed 0.68%.

Reuters reported that Asian stocks gained on Friday on upbeat expectations for the closely-watched U.S. jobs data while the euro continued to probe fresh nine-year lows against the dollar.

Taking heart after Wall Street rallied for the second day on Thursday, MSCI's broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan rose 0.4%.