KLCI pares gains despite rally at regional markets

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KUALA LUMPUR (March 9): The FBM KLCI eked out marginal gains in the morning session on Friday, despite the rally at most regional markets.

At 12.30pm, the FBM KLCI was up 2.87 points to 1,842.49. The index had earlier risen to its intra-morning high of 1,844.98.

Losers edged gainers by 304 to 300, while 560 counters traded unchanged. Volume was 1.19 billion shares, valued at RM787.11 million.

Top gainers included Nestle (M) Bhd, KESM Industries Bhd, Petron Malaysia Refining & Marketing Bhd, Hengyuan Refining Company Bhd. Genting Plantations Bhd, Hartalega Holdings Bhd, Lotte Chemical Titan Holding Bhd, Malaysian Pacific Industries Bhd and Unisem (M) Bhd.

The actives included SKH Consortium Bhd, Sapura Energy Bhd, Tiger Synergy Bhd, NWP Holdings Bhd, KUM Malaysia Bhd, Sumatec Resources Bhd and QES Group Bhd.

Losers included Dutch Lady Milk Industries Bhd, British American Tobacco (M) Bhd, Chin Teck Plantations Bhd, SAM Engineering & Equipment Bhd, Hong Leong Financial Group Bhd, Hong Leong Bank Bhd and Ibraco Bhd.

Asian shares rallied and the safe-haven yen eased on Friday, after North Korean leader Kim Jong Un offered to stop nuclear and missile testing and U.S. President Donald Trump agreed to a meeting that could come before May, according to Reuters.

South Korea's national security adviser made the announcement at the White House, after delivering a letter from Kim. Trump's aides have been wary of North Korea's diplomatic overtures, because of its history of reneging on international commitments, Reuters said.

Affin Hwang IB senior associate director and head of retail research Datuk Dr Nazri Khan Adam Khan said major markets closed higher in their last trading session, after Trump signed steel and aluminium tariffs, which exclude Canada and Mexico.

“For the local market, investors’ sentiments are expected to continue to be mixed, particularly as market moves toward the end of the week.

“Downward bias remains, while market participants are still hoping for GE14’s rally to continue. However, “hoping” is not a good sign in this market. Trade cautiously,” Dr Nazri said.