KLCI pares loss, but tepid sentiment keeps index in the red

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KUALA LUMPUR (Sept 4): The FBM KLCI pared some of its losses but remained negative at the midday break on Thursday as investor sentiment remained tepid following uninspiring 2Q corporate earnings last week and lack of fresh catalysts despite steady regional markets.

At 12.30pm, the FBM KLCI was down 0.52 points to 1,864.35. The index had earlier slipped to its intra-morning low of 1,860.00.

Losers led gainers by 366 to 335, while 344 counters traded unchanged. Volume was 1.43 billion shares valued at RM938.17 million.

The top decliners included Aeon Credit, BAT, Asia File, Coastal Contracts, Uzma, MAHB, HLFG, Timecom, TH Plantations and Sarawak Plantations.

Globaltec was the most actively traded counter with 120.78 million shares done. The stock rose 10% or one sen to 11 sen.

The other actives included Sumatec, Sanichi-OR, Wintoni, Luster, Reach Energy, Olympia and Marco.

The advancers included Petronas Dagangan, Deleum, E&O, MKH, PM Technology, SAM Engineering, Country View and AMMB.

Regionally, Asian shares steadied near seven-year highs on Thursday, underpinned by hopes of a ceasefire in Ukraine, though a cautious mood prevailed for now ahead of the European Central Bank's meeting, according to Reuters.

MSCI's broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan eased 0.1 percent after a brief rise to a seven-year high while Japan's Nikkei average shed 0.2 percent from seven-month highs the previous day, it said.

BIMB Securities Research said investors stayed sidelined ahead of the European Central Bank policy meeting today, and as a result, Wall Street was relatively mixed with the flattish Dow Jones Industrial Average at 17,078.28 (+10.72 points) while the Nasdaq lost 25.62 or 0.56% at 4,572.57 principally due to Apple’s decline.

The research house said that in Europe, stocks were all higher on hopes of a ceasefire in Ukraine.

Meanwhile, Asian markets ended mostly in positive territory on the back of some inflows of foreign funds, it said.  

Nonetheless, the FBM KLCI yesterday declined 2.82 points to 1,864.87 amid some profit taking activities by local institutions despite a net inflow of RM56.6 million from the foreign funds, said BIMB Securities.

“We believe the weak performance of the local bourse can be attributed to the recent set of uninspiring corporate results which saw more downgrade on the overall earnings forecasts.

“Unless there are window dressing activities, we envisage the index to be stuck at current levels,” it said.