#Market Close* KLCI makes 11th-hour gains in volatile trade

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KUALA LUMPUR (Aug 28): The FBM KLCI erased losses to make an 11th-hour gain. The KLCI ended 0.18% higher after a day of volatile trading.

At 5pm, the KLCI rose 3.3 points to close at 1,875.68. The last minute push came on gains made by stocks like Petronas Gas Bhd and CIMB Group Holdings Bhd.

Sam Ng, remisier at Interpacific Securities Sdn Bhd, said there was heavy short-selling by day traders. That explained the volatililty in the latter half of the day, according to Ng.

“The short-selling activities today resulted in the fall in the index in the later part of the day,” he told theedgemalaysia.com.

Overall, he said trading of small to medium capitalised stocks dominated trading activity today.

Bursa Malaysia saw three billion shares worth RM2.19 billion traded. Market breadth was negative as decliners outnumbered gainers at 589 versus 275, while 294 counters were unchanged.

Among the top decliners were MKH Bhd, Malaysian Pacific Industries Bhd and Lafarge Malaysia Bhd, while United Plantations Bhd led gainers. Sanichi Technology Bhd was the most-active counter.

IFCA MSC Bhd was also among the most-actively traded entities. CIMB Investment Bank Bhd said potential re-rating catalysts for IFCA shares included higher sales, driven by the implementation of the goods and services tax (GST) in Malaysia and the company's operations in China.

“The next two years will be bumper years for the company as domestic property developers upgrade their GST software in Malaysia ahead of the 1 Apr GST implementation,” said CIMB analyst Nigel Foo in a note.

Across the region, Japan’s Nikkei fell 0.48%, Hong Kong’s Hang Seng declined 0.71%, while South Korea’s Kospi rose 0.04%.

According to Reuters, Asian shares held steady after pulling back from a 6-1/2 year high as the recent rally in risk assets petered out for now, while the euro clung to modest gains after rebounding from 13-month lows.