Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Regional markets rise on Eurozone rescue hopes, but scepticism remains

KUALA LUMPUR: The FBM KLCI edged higher at mid-morning on Wednesday, Oct 19 as Asian markets advanced, but gains were limited as investors remained cautious over the mixed news flow emerging from Europe.

Wall Street received a jolt in the final hour of trading yesterday after the UK Guardian reported that France and Germany had agreed to increase the size of Europe's rescue package to more than EUR2 trillion ($2.7 trillion).

However, the report was almost immediately contradicted by Dow Jones Newswires, which said that European officials were still debating the size of the bailout fund and reports that an agreement has been reached to leverage it to EUR2 trillion are "totally wrong."

Asian investors were also wary after Moody's cut Spain's sovereign ratings by two notches.

The FBM KLCI was up 7.44 points to 1,447.38 at 10am, lifted by gains at select blue chips.

Gainers led losers by 420 to 58, while 133 counters traded unchanged. Volume was 437.9 million shares valued at RM211.98 million.

At the regional markets, Hong Kong's Hang Seng Index rose 1.56% to 18,357.76, Japan's Nikkei 225 was up 0.61% to 8,795.46, Singapore's Straits Times Index up 0.55% to 2,739.75, the Shanghai Composite Index gained 0.44% to 2,393.95, South Korea's Kospi up 0.28% to 1,844.07 while Taiwan's Taiex was flat at 7.359.72.

Maybank Investment Bank Bhd head of retail research and chief chartist Lee Cheng Hooi in a note to clients Oct 19 said that due to the US markets' firmer tone last night, the local index could be volatile today.

He said that some minor local buying activities could keep the local market slightly firmer today.

Among the top gainers at mid-morning were Batu Kawan, PPB and Airasia that rose 20 sen each to RM15.50. RM16.70 and RM3.87 respectively, KLK up 16 sen to RM20.86, IJM Corp and MMHE each to RM5.36 and RM6.10, Tradewinds 14 sen to RM8.69, Kencana and Genting Malaysia 13 sen each to RM2.55 and RM3.63, while UMS added 12 sen to RM1.74.

Asiapac was the most actively traded counter with 26.2 million shares done. The stock added 1.5 sen to 11 sen.

Other actives included Harvest Court, HWGB, IRCB, RedTone and GPRO.

Among the losers at mid-morning were Nestle, Lafarge Malayan Cement, Lysaght, Digi, Lay Horng, Cepco, Parkson and Maxis.

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