KLCI reverses gains, turns negative at 11th hour

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KUALA LUMPUR (Jan 30): The FBM KLCI saw its gains reversed at market close, closing 0.05% lower, after staying in positive territory for most of the day.

The benchmark index fell 0.92 points or 0.05% to settle at 1,789.39 points. Week-on-week, the index has shed 13.69 points or 0.76% from 1,803.08 points last week.

Earlier, the index reached a high of 1,789.39, gaining as much as 7.21 points or 0.40% on some bargain hunting, amid a stronger close by the Dow Jones overnight.

“The KLCI earlier rose on some bargain hunting, led by stocks like Hong Leong Financial Group Bhd, RHB Capital Bhd, UMW Holdings Bhd, Hong Leong Bank Bhd, MISC Holdings Bhd and Malayan Banking Bhd,” said Maybank Investment Bank Bhd regional chartist Lee Cheng Hooi.

Looking ahead, Lee said the market may be quiet, ahead of the Chinese New Year holidays in mid February.

Across the board, some 1.91 billion shares worth RM2.21 billion were traded. Gainers overtook decliners at 440 versus 344, while 330 counters were unchanged.

Leading the gainers today was Hong Leong Financial Group Bhd, while the decliners were led by British American Tobacco (Malaysia) Bhd. The most actively-traded stock was Asia Bioenergy Technologies Bhd.

Across the region, Hong Kong’s Hang Seng fell 0.41%, South Korea’s Kospi was down 0.09%, while Japan’s Nikkei gained 0.39%.

Asian shares wavered between positive and negative territories on Friday, as a late earnings-led surge on Wall Street helped counter persistent concerns over global growth and sagging Chinese shares, reported Reuters.

MSCI's broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan, edged down about 0.2% on the day in late trade, but was still on track to gain more than 1% for the month.