FBM KLCI pares gains after starting higher as investors watch US elections

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KUALA LUMPUR (Nov 7): The FBM KLCI opened higher before paring gains as investors waited for results of the US midterm elections.

At 9am, the KLCI opened 7.18 points higher at 1,715.98. At 9:04am, the KLCI climbed 3.5 points to 1,712.30.

Across world markets, Reuters reported that Wall Street stock futures ticked down slightly while Asian shares held very tight ranges early Wednesday as investors awaited the results of US midterm elections, which could see Republicans lose their grip on Congress.

US S&P500 futures dipped 0.25 percent as the first polls closes in parts of the country in the congressional elections, seen as a referendum on President Donald Trump's polarising style and "America First" policies. MSCI's broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan was flat in early trade while Japan's Nikkei ticked up 0.2 percent.

In Malaysia, Hong Leong Investment Bank Bhd wrote in a note today that "Asia’s stocks traded mixed prior to the US midterm election as the result may cause heavy swings towards the markets."

"On the local front, we believe there could be further trading interest after (the) Malaysia stock exchange was closed for Deepavali public holiday (yesterday) as market participants digested further on Budget 2019. We opine that healthcare and insurance related stocks may continue (to) trade higher as they are among beneficiaries in Budget 2019," Hong Leong said.