KLCI pares gains as regional markets pause for breather

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KUALA LUMPUR (Dec 23): The FBM KLCI pared some of its gains at mid-morning on Tuesday as regional markets paused for a breather ahead of the holiday shortened trade week.

At 10.05am, the FBM KLCI gained 1.56 points to 1,745.61. The index had earlier risen to 1.752.81.

The top gainers included British American Tobacco (M) Bhd, Dutch Lady Milk Industries Bhd, Pestech International Bhd, LPI Capital Bhd, United Plantations Bhd, Kuala Lumpur Kepong Bhd and Malayan Banking Bhd.

The actives included Minetech Resources Bhd, Boustead Holdings Bhd, Icon Offshore Bhd, Hubline Bhd, Sumatec Resources Bhd, Technodex Bhd and IFCA MSC Bhd.

The top losers included PPB Group Bhd, Coastal Contracts Bhd, Press Metal Bhd, Hong Leong Bank Bhd, Cahya Mata Sarawak Bhd, UMW Oil & Gas Corporation Bhd and SapuraKencana Petroleum Bhd.

A holiday lull settled over Asian markets on Tuesday after Wall Street closed at historic highs while oil prices suffered a stinging setback after Saudi Arabia quashed all thought of curbing supply, according to Reuters.

A revival in risk appetite undermined the safe haven yen and kept the U.S. dollar elevated across the board, while sovereign bonds were content to sit on recent gains, it said.

Hong Leong IB Research said a follow-through technical rebound may continue today, adding that the FBM KLCI was likely to face a stiff resistance near 1758 area.

It said the critical resistance is situated at barrier near 1770 (neckline of H&S).

“However, the rebound would not be able to resume the FBM KLCI’s long-term uptrend and we believe that the 2 ‘gap-ups” on 15 and 16 Dec will be closed in the near-medium term.

“Hence, we continue to recommend investors to “sell on strength”,” it said.