KLCI pares gains as regional markets tick higher

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KUALA LUMPUR (Jan 17): The FBM KLCI pared some of its gains at mid-morning today, against the backdrop of modest advance at regional markets.

At 10am, the FBM KLCI was up 3.01 points to 1,676.09. The index had earlier risen to a high of 1,681.83.

Gainers led losers by 281 to 202, while 279 counters traded unchanged. Volume was 578.81 million shares valued at RM309.08 million.

The gainers included Petronas Dagangan Bhd, Carlsberg Brewery Malaysia Bhd, United Plantations Bhd, Aeon Credit Service (M) Bhd, Can-One Bhd, Hong Leong Industries Bhd, Kuala Lumpur Kepong Bhd, Fraser & Neave Holdings Bhd and PPB Group Bhd.

The actives included Sapura Energy Bhd, Bumi Armada Bhd, My EG Services Bhd, Destini Bhd, Seacera Group Bhd, Tatt Giap Group Bhd, OCK Group Bhd and FGV Holdings Bhd.

The decliners included Nestle (M) Bhd, SLP Resources Bhd, JCBNext Bhd, Caely Holdings Bhd and Malaysia-listed Hang Seng Index-linked put warrants.

Asian shares crept higher on Thursday as upbeat bank earnings bolstered Wall Street, while an anti-climactic end to the latest chapter in the Brexit saga gave sterling a moment's peace, according to Reuters.

MSCI's broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan edged up 0.1%, and Australia was ahead by 0.2%, the newswire said.

Hong Leong IB Research said Wall Street could be due for volatility ahead of the upcoming reporting season this week.

Also, it said market participants could be eyeing on the federal government partial shutdown (dragged on into the 27th day), stoking fears the shutdown could drag on for a long time as consensus estimates that every two weeks of a shutdown trims 0.1 percentage points from growth due to delays in spending and investment.

"Retracement supports are anchored around 23,300-23,700 while resistances fall on 24,400-24,500 zones.

"For Bursa Malaysia, we expect tighter range bound trade as concerns over moderating global growth. However, downside risks could be offset by hopes that China may introduce more stimulus measures to cushion the slowdown, positive optimism over the progress in US-China trade talks as well as a more dovish Fed.

"On the back of relief rebound on overnight Dow and oil prices, traders may continue to look out for rotational plays within the oil and gas, construction, automotive, consumer, and airlines sectors amid strengthening ringgit and recovery in oil prices. Upside resistances are 1,683-1,700 while supports fall on 1,652-1,666," it said.