KLCI rebounds despite worse than expected Jan exports data

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KUALA LUMPUR (Mar 6): The FBM KLCI rebounded to close at 1806.96 points today after having stayed largely in the red throughout the day on worse than expected January exports data and lack of fresh leads.

Malaysia’s exports fell 0.6% to RM63.6 billion in January 2015 from a year earlier on lower sales of crucial products to major importing nations, the Statistics Department said in a statement earlier.

The decline was due to lower sales to China, Indonesia, Australia, New Zealand and South Korea; the numbers were mainly dragged by lower exports of refined petroleum items and liquefied natural gas (LNG) besides palm oil and natural rubber.

As at 5pm, the KLCI was up 0.05% or 0.87 points compared to yesterday's close of 1806.09 points, underpinned by gains in heavyweight counters like CIMB Group Holdings Bhd, British American Tobacco (Malaysia) Bhd and Hong Leong Financial Group Bhd.

"The market has also been very quiet over the past week, one of the reasons could be that there is no catalyst that could stimulate the market," a dealer told theedgemarkets.com.

He added that the current lacklustre trading trend should continue into the next week should there be no major announcements preceding it.

Across the exchange, some 2 billion shares worth RM1.93 billion changed hands today.

Gainers outnumbered losers by 456 to 361, while 311 counters remained unchanged.

The top gainers included Panasonic Manufacturing Malaysia Bh, United Plantations Bhd and Guinness Anchor Bhd.

The top losers were Nestle (M) Bhd, Far East Holdings Bhd and Shangri-La Hotels (Malaysia) Bhd.

The most actively traded counters were led by Eti Tech Corporation Bhd, Ingenuity Consolidated Bhd and Privasia Technology Bhd.

Regionally, Japan's Nikkei 225 edged up 1.2% to close at 18,971.00 points while South Korea's Kospi gained 14.56% at 2012.94. Hong Kong's Hang Seng Index, however, slipped 0.12% to close at 24,164 points.

Meanwhile, Reuters reported that the US dollar held pole position in Asia on Friday as bulls wagered a looming US jobs report would add to the chance of rate hikes there, even as the European Central Bank embarks on a trillion euro campaign of bond-buying.