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Wednesday, April 1, 2009

KLCI closes 11.63 pts (+1.33%) higher 01 April 2009

KUALA LUMPUR: Shares on the Bursa Malaysia traded broadly higher on Wednesday.
The KL Composite Index opened on a stronger footing and managed to stay in positive territory throughout the day. Market breadth was also positive for the better part of the day. Trading volume, on the other hand, stayed on the thin side.

Investor confidence has certainly improved in the past two to three weeks. Global financial markets rebounded strongly after skidding to multi-year lows in the earlier part of March. The local bourse has been fairly resilient throughout the bout of volatility but investor interest has remained low.
Daily on-market volume averaged at only about 404 million shares in the first three months of the year — well below the daily average of about 562 million shares in 4Q08.

Such lackluster trading volume may persist as long as the outlook on the global economy stays clouded. In this respect, the overall picture is still fairly grim despite a sprinkle of more upbeat developments.

A recent survey showed manufacturing activities in China contracting for the eight straight month in March. The decline suggests that the mild recovery in the first two months of 2009 could be due to re-stocking activities, while the underlying demand remains weak. Another survey indicates that confidence at major Japanese manufacturers has fallen to an all-time low. In other news, crude oil prices slipped below US$49 (RM178.85) per barrel. Market observers expect US stockpiles to rise in a report due out this week.
The KLCI added almost 12 points to close at 884.2 points. Some of the big gainers were BAT, Public Bank, Malayan Banking Bhd (Maybank), DiGi and Bumiputra Commerce. At the close, gaining stocks outnumbered losing ones by just over two to one.Only about 371 million shares were traded Wednesday. Lower liner stocks like KNM, Asia Bioenergy Tech, WCT, MRCB and Mulpha International were among the most heavily traded stocks.

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