KLCI down 0.38% as key banks drag

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KUALA LUMPUR (May 4): The FBM KLCI fell 0.38% at midday break today, in line with the retreat at most regional markets, dragged by key banking stocks.

At 12.30pm, the FBM KLCI fell 7.02 points to 1,844.78.

Losers led gainers by 357 to 163, while 513 counters traded unchanged. Volume was 811.29 million shares, valued at RM792.23 million.

Top losers included Fraser & Neave Holdings Bhd, Carlsberg Brewery Malaysia Bhd, Ibraco Bhd, Hong Leong Financial Group Bhd, KESM Industries Bhd, Enra Group Bhd, Public Bank Bhd, CIMB Group Holdings Bhd and Malayan Banking Bhd (Maybank).

The actives included Sapura Energy Bhd, Borneo Oil Bhd, Nexgram Holdings Bhd, Sime Darby Bhd, Maybank and UMW Oil & Gas Corp Bhd.

The gainers included Chin Teck Plantations Bhd, United Plantations Bhd, Negri Sembilan Oil Palms Bhd, Allianz Malaysia Bhd, Hartalega Holdings Bhd, Spritzer Bhd, Genting Plantations Bhd and Top Glove Corp Bhd.

Asian shares stepped back, while the Japanese yen held onto overnight gains in early trading on Friday, as financial markets turned their attention to the looming U.S. payrolls data for fresh catalysts, according to Reuters.

Investors were cautious after a largely weak performance on Wall Street overnight, as some disappointing earnings reports offset strong economic data, while bond yields slid after a surprising slowdown in euro zone inflation, Reuters said.

Affin Hwang Capital Research said lacklustre trading in global stock markets are expected to continue, after US stocks slid to four-week lows, as investors digested earnings and economic data.

“Stocks in Bursa Malaysia are anticipated to move in line with the regional market.

“Investors seem to adopt a wait and see strategy, as GE14’s campaigns are actively in progress.

“We anticipate the FBM KLCI Index to continue fluctuating in a volatile manner, as uncertainty surround the market. Nonetheless, we noted that a handful of quality stocks have actually retraced significantly, thus offering great opportunity for long-term investors to accumulate,” the research house said.