KUALA LUMPUR (Dec 13): The FBM KLCI rose to 1840.35, hovering near its previous record close, as the market temporarily brushed aside concerns over the Fed stimulus tapering and concentrated on window-dressing before year-end.
Alliance Research has opined that the global markets had overacted to quantitative easing, which it does not think will take place very soon.
At 5.00 pm, the KLCI climbed 6.48 points or 0.35% to end at 1840.35, after hitting an intraday high of 1843.48 – marginally below the previous record close of 1843.85 registered on Tuesday.
The market was lifted by select blue chips, including index-linked plantation stocks (e.g. KLK and IOI) and blue chips Telekom, Digi, Sime,Tenaga, Petronas Gas and Axiata.
Gainers led losers by 368 to 362, while 348 counters traded unchanged. Volume was 1.18 billion shares valued at some RM1.68 billion.
In the region, Asian markets were mostly restrained at noon trades as investors fret over the outlook for U.S. policy stimulus, but Japanese stocks forged ahead as the yen slid to a five-year trough on the dollar, reported Reuters.
Any drop in the yen tends to be viewed as a positive for Japanese exports and corporate profits, and thus for the stock market. The Nikkei responded by rallying as much as 1.2% before ending 0.4% higher to snap three straight sessions of losses.
Other share markets in Asia took their lead from a soft finish on Wall Street. MSCI's broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan was little changed.
Investors were wary after upbeat data on US retail sales heightened speculation the Federal Reserve (Fed) might start trimming its asset buying as early as next week.