KLCI snaps winning streak as regional markets stall

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KUALA LUMPUR (Feb 20): The FBM KLCI retreated at the midday break today, as some mild profit taking halted its post-Chinese New Year ascend.

At 12.30pm, the FBM KLCI shed 1.04 points to 1,856.28. The index had earlier risen to its intra-morning high of 1,861.10.

Losers led gainers by 344 to 245, while 544 counters traded unchanged. Volume was 1.34 billion shares, valued at RM879.22 million.

The top losers included Petronas Gas Bhd, British American Tobacco (M) Bhd, United Plantations Bhd, Tasek Corp Bhd, Enra Group Bhd, Telekom Malaysia Bhd, Batu Kawan Bhd and RHB Bank Bhd.

The actives included Sumatec Resources Bhd, AirAsia X Bhd, Sino Hua-An International Bhd, PUC Bhd, Hibiscus Petroleum Bhd, UMW Oil & Gas Corp Bhd, Sapura Energy Bhd and Iris Corp Bhd.

The gainers included Nestle (M) Bhd, KESM Industries Bhd, Malaysian Pacific Industries Bhd, Hong Leong Industries Bhd, Hengyuan Refining Company Bhd, SAM Engineering & Equipment Bhd, Carlsberg Brewery Malaysia Bhd and Dutch Lady Milk Industries Bhd.

Asian stocks slipped on Tuesday, their recent recovery stalling after European equities broke a winning streak, while the dollar edged up to pull further away from three-year lows, according to Reuters.

MSCI's broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan shed 0.5%. Australian stocks fell 0.3%, South Korea's KOSPI lost 0.7% and Hong Kong's Hang Seng dropped 0.85%, Reuters said.

Affin Hwang IB senior associate director and head of retail research Datuk Dr Nazri Khan Adam Khan said regional markets were set to open lower due to pullback in Europe market and U.S. stock futures in their last trading session.

“Nevertheless, a pullback may also offer great opportunity to accumulate stocks at a favourable price.

“Meanwhile, our local market is set to open mixed with GE-14 rally pushing up index- linked and politically-linked counters, despite volatility in global market.

“Going forward, we anticipate that investors will focus more on stocks that are deemed beneficiaries of the ruling government, and this would possibly be mainly on the oil and gas and construction sector,” he said.