Published: Monday April 2, 2012 MYT 11:59:00 AM
Updated: Monday April 2, 2012 MYT 6:44:47 PM
KLCI ends on record high 1,603.78 points
KUALA LUMPUR: The FBM-KLCI closed at a new record high of 1,603.78 points, shrugging off a sluggish early morning session and expectations for a pullback as the benchmark index soared to levels not seen since July.
Optimism in the 30-stock index also boosted trading in the broader market as 400 counters ended higher and 353 lower while 324 were unchanged. Volume stood at 1.44 billion million shares valued at RM1.4bil.
The top gainers included Dutch Lady which added RM1.24 sen to RM35.50, SMPC 35 sen to RM2.20, Genting Plantations 31 sen to RM9.80, F&N 28 sen to RM19.16, and Tasek 25 sen to RM8.75.
The losers were British American Tobacco which shed 56 sen to RM55.06, Malpac 15 sen to RM1.50, Hoover 11 sen to 33 sen, Nestle 10 sen to RM55.90, and Tiong Nam Logistics 10 sen to 98 sen.
Over in the region, markets were mostly higher thanks to stronger-than-expected data from China that eased worries about an abrupt economic slowdown.
China's official purchasing managers' index unexpectedly jumped to an 11-month high of 53.1 in March, up from February's 51 and comfortably ahead of forecasts at 50.5, allaying recent concerns over a “hard landing” for the world's second-largest economy, Reuters reported.
Japan's Nikkei 225 rose 26.31 points to 10,109.87, Seoul's Kospi Index 15.25 points to 2,029.29, and Singapore's Straits Times Index 5.61 points to 3,016.07.
However, Australia's S&P ASX lost 5.97 points to 4,329.27 and Hong Kong's Hang Seng Index 33.32 points to 20,522.26.
Nymex crude oil stood at US$102.61 per barrel, while the ringgit was quoted at RM3.055 to the US dollar. Spot gold was down at US$1,666.40 per ounce.