Limited gains for KLCI despite regional rally

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KUALA LUMPUR (March 9): The FBM KLCI notched up limited gains at mid-morning today despite the rally at most regional markets.

At 10.05am, the FBM KLCI was up 2.16 points to 1,841.78. The index had earlier risen to a high of 1,844.98.

Gainers led losers by 341 to 192, while 302 counters traded unchanged. Volume was 565.52 million shares valued at RM220.37 million.

The gainers included Nestle (M) Bhd, KESM Industries Bhd, Petron Malaysia Refining & Marketing Bhd, British American Tobacco (M) Bhd, Petronas Gas Bdh, Ajinomoto (M) Bhd, Lotte Chemical Titan Holding Bhd, Top Glove Corp Bhd and Hong Leong Industries Bhd.

The actives included SKH Consortioum Bhd, Tiger Synergy Bhd, KUB Malaysia Bhd, Sumatec Resources Bhd, Sapura Energy Bhd and AirAsia X Bhd.

The decliners included Dutch Lady Milk Industries Bhd, Panasonic Manufacturing Malaysia Bhd, Ibraco Bhd, Grand Hoover Bhd and Hong Leong Financial Group Bhd.

Asian shares rallied and the safe-haven yen eased on Friday after North Korean leader Kim Jong Un offered to stop nuclear and missile testing and U.S. President Donald Trump agreed to a meeting that could come before May, according to Reuters.

South Korea's national security adviser made the announcement at the White House, after delivering a letter from Kim. Trump's aides have been wary of North Korea's diplomatic overtures because of its history of reneging on international commitments, it said.

Hong Leong IB Research in a traders’ brief said that in the US, the jobless claims were more than expected and investors could be focusing on the nonfarm payroll data that will be released later today.

“The data could affect the tone of the FOMC meeting, resulting in a potential shift on the interest rate outlook, eventually.

“Meanwhile, sentiment was getting better and we are expecting the KLCI to recover in tandem with the spillover effect from Wall Street.

“However, O&G stocks may see some selling pressure after Brent crude oil ended lower. With the uncertain outcome of Trump's tariffs decision, we believe the upside could be limited around 1,860 as investors could be adopting a cautious stance over the near term,” it said.