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KUALA LUMPUR (Jan 8): Shares in jeweller Poh Kong Holdings Bhd rose more than 9% to hit its 22-month high this morning, as investors sought safe haven in gold in view of escalating tensions between the US and the Middle East.

The gold and gemstones jewellery retail chain, which hit a high of 59 sen so far today, was last traded at 57.5 sen at the point of writing, up 3.5 sen or 6.5% from its last closing price. At its current price, Poh Kong is valued at RM235.95 million.

Activity ballooned 18 times to a total of 2.5 million shares versus its 200-day average trading volume of 135,489 shares.

It was among Bursa Malaysia's top gainers amidst a negative market breadth with 655 decliners outstripping 117 gainers. The benchmark FBM KLCI was down 15.69 points or 0.97% at 1,595.35 at the time of writing.

Meanwhile, Tomei Consolidated Bhd rose as much as 3.5 sen or 7.4% to 50.5 sen after 462,200 shares were exchanged, valuing the group at RM69.99 million. The stock last closed above the 50 sen level in April 2019.

Jewellery manufacturer DeGem Bhd, which is undergoing a privatisation exercise, was untraded. It was last done at RM1.08 for a market capitalisation of RM141.3 million.

Although its listing yesterday seems timely given current developments, shares in ACE Innovate Asia Bhd, whose subsidiaries are involved in gold bullion trading, were not traded today. The LEAP market is only available to Sophisticated Investors that meet certain requirements.

On Wednesday, gold prices surged more than 2% to cross the US$1,600 mark as investors sought cover in the safe-haven metal after Iran fired rockets at an Iraqi airbase which hosts US forces, hours after the funeral of an Iranian commander whose killing in a US drone strike has raised fears of a wider conflict in the Middle East.

Spot gold hit its highest since March 2013 at US$1,610.90 earlier in the session, while US gold futures rose 2% to US$1,605.80, Reuters reported.


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