Thursday, December 2, 2010

Asian markets soar after firm close at Wall Street

KUALA LUMPUR: The FBM KLCI advanced in early trade on Thursday, Dec 2 in tandem with the strong gains at key regional markets following the firm overnight close at Wall Street.

US stocks rose yesterday as ''several factors, including reports on improving US payrolls and manufacturing, as well as a 17% rise in November auto sales, pointed to a gradual but steady return in consumer demand.

The Institute of Supply Management's factory index was fairly little changed at 56.6 in November from 56.9 in October, signaling growth was still intact.

Investor sentiment across the region had since earlier yesterday given a slight nudge upwards as China, the UK and Germany also showed marked improvements in their respective purchasing managers' index, indicating growth in factory output.

The FBM KLCI rose 11.86 points to 1,497.28 at 10am, lifted by gains including at BAT, Petronas Gas, PPB and Petronas Chemicals.

Gainers led losers by 377 to 90, while 171 counters traded unchanged. Volume was 218.88 million shares valued at RM304.35 million.

At the regional markets, Japan's Nikkei 225 jumped 1.78% to 10,166.12, Taiwan's Taiex was up 1.15% to 8,617.77, the Shanghai Composite Index up 1.08% to 2,853.97, Singapore's Straits Times Index up 0.97% to 3,212.70, South Korea's Kospi up 0.79% to 1,944.59 while Hong Kong's Hang Seng Index opened 1.3% higher at 23,541.33.

Maybank Investment Bank Bhd head of retail research and chief chartist Lee Cheng Hooi in a note to clients Dec 2 said that due to the firm US markets last night, the FBM KLCI could be in a volatile mode today too, with initial buying activities that may have to endure profit- taking in the later part of the day.

He said the FBM KLCI had broken above the previous 1,524.69 all-time 2008 high to create another new peak at 1,531.99 on Nov 10, and a temporary correction low may have been formed at 1,474.02 on Nov 29.

'Global market trends may have turned volatile and it looks as if Malaysia might not be spared either.

'Remain with a larger cash pile until the global volatility truly abates. Else, brave investors may try to buy some laggard PLANTATION [] counters,' he said.

On Bursa Malaysia, the top gainer at mid-morning was Nestle that added 30 sen to RM43.60; BAT rose 28 sen to RM44.46, Lysaght added 25 sen to RM1.80, Batu Kawan rose 24 sen to RM16, PPB and IJM Corp up 20 sen each to RM17.80 and RM6, MTD added 17 sen to RM6.82 while Tan Chong and Tradewinds rose 16 sen each to RM5.56 and RM4.90.

PetGas was up 26 sen to RM11.40 on securing a proposed a LNG regasification project from its parent company, Petronas.

The losers in early trade this morning included Eng Teknologi, Tomypak, Quality Concrete, Advanced Packaging, Widetech, Jerneh, Proton and Bernas.

Petronas Chemicals was the most actively traded counter wit 10.8 million shares done. The stock gained two sen to RM5.40.

Other actives included DRB-Hicom, Vastalux, Karambunai, K-Star Sports, Jotech and Land & General.

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