#Market Close* KLCI up 0.3% ahead of Chinese New Year

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KUALA LUMPUR (Feb 8): The FBM KLCI ended the week higher, supported by news-driven counters and government-linked corporations, amid quiet trading ahead of a long 4-day break.

At 5pm market close, the key index rose 4.23 points or 0.3% to end at 1623.80 points.

Across the exchange, gainers led losers by 376 to 217, while 314 counters traded unchanged. Volume was 666.8 million shares valued at RM1.3 billion.

A senior dealer said the market was quiet today mainly because many proprietory day traders, who are also market makers, have left the market for Chinese New Year.

"Look at the top actives, their volumes were low and total value less than RM2 million. The day traders have left the market early," the dealer told .

Affin Investment bank vice president and head of retail research Dr Nazri Khan said following the bullish performance of the regional stocks and the sharp correction in the local stocks, he expects the local index to stage an “oversold rebound” with 1,630 as the immediate target.

“Better data out of China and USA of late have also contributed to the optimism about regional growth.

“We note that Asian shares were mostly higher after China posted stronger than expected trade data for the first month of the year,” he said.

Among the gainers on Bursa Malaysia, British American Tobacco added 60 sen to RM58.40, SP Setia jumped 16 sen to RM3.27, Hwang DBS gained 15 sen to RM3.80, Genting Plantations rose16 sen to RM8.46 and AEON Credit picked up 38 sen to RM11.

The decliners included Petronas Dagangan, PPB Group, Hong Leong Financial Group, Hartalega Holdings, IJM Land and KLCC Property Holdings.

Oil, copper and Asian shares rose on Friday after China's strong trade data set the scene for economic recovery, although investors opted to book profits before next week's Chinese New Year holidays, limiting gains, according to Reuters.

Japan's Nikkei stock average snapped a 12-week winning streak to close down 1.8% as investors took profits from the index's surge to its highest level since October 2008 on Wednesday. Japanese markets will be closed on Monday for a public holiday.

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