KLCI edges up in line with region, gains seen limited

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KUALA LUMPUR (Jan 21): The FBM KLCI edged up in early trade in line with the regional markets but its gains were seen limited given teh lack of domestic catalysts.

At 9.01am, the FBM KLCI added 176 points to 1,751.87.

The top gainers included Genting Plantations Bhd, Petronas Dagangan Bhd, PPB Group Bhd, United Plantations Bhd, Kulim (M) Bhd, Lafarge Malaysia Bhd, Axis REIT, VS Industry Bhd, MISC Bhd and Sime Darby Bhd.

Asian shares held firm and the euro stayed under pressure on Wednesday as investors counted on the European Central Bank to unveil a stimulus drive, while the yen was subdued ahead of the Bank of Japan's policy announcement later in the Asian day, according to Reuters.

MSCI's broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan rose 0.2 percent, although Japan's Nikkei slipped 0.4 percent from a two-week closing high hit on Tuesday after heavy gains in the previous two sessions, it said.

Global share prices have been supported in recent sessions on growing investor conviction that the ECB will adopt quantitative easing at its meeting on Thursday, said Reuters.

JF Apex Securities Research in a market preview Wednesday said U.S. stocks rose on Tuesday as investors tracked the price of oil and fourth-quarter earnings from corporations including Johnson & Johnson.

Similarly, it said European equities closed in positive territory amid speculation that the European Central Bank (ECB) will announce a full-scale bond-buying program when it meets on Thursday.

“Asian equities appear set to kick off Wednesday on a positive note, tracking gains in the U.S. overnight, but shares may face volatility as oil prices continue to retreat.

“We expect the local benchmark index continues to hover below our resistance level of 1765 points following yesterday’s marginal decline of 3.20 points to 1750.11 points,” it said.