KUALA LUMPUR: Asian markets were mostly lower in early trade on March 31 as the weak overnight close on Wall Street weighed on sentiment while investors crossed their fingers as Japan prepared to unveil a new stimulus package. At Bursa Malaysia, some buying of Maybank helped lift the KL Composite Index higher. Its renounceable rights shares go ex on March 31. At 10am, the KLCI was up nearly one point to 870.27. Turnover was 60.7 million shares done valued at RM80.18 million. Japan’s Nikkei 225 rose 0.93% to 8,312.44, Shanghai’s Composite Index fell 2.35% to 2,302.71 while Singapore’s Straits Times Index fell 0.34% to 1,116.26. Hong Kong’s Hang Seng Index opened 0.4% higher to 13,515.94. Maybank Investment Research said after the KLCI closed at a 16.09 point loss on March 30, which pushed the KLCI below the 870 mark, any rebound on the KLCI would attract heavy selling pressure as investors and traders cashed in their gains. “The resistance areas of 869 and 884 will cap market gains, while the weaker support areas are located at 836 and 850. We believe that the KLCI will remain weak after last week’s superfluous rise during the UMNO general assembly rally,” it added. Maybank rose 14 sen to RM3.80. SP Setia and PPB 10 sen each to RM3 and RM9.80, while Proton gained seven sen to RM1.60. BCHB and YTL rose five sen each to RM6.95 and RM6.96 while Bursa added four sen to RM5. Resorts rose four sen to RM2.12 in active trade while TM International gained four sen to RM2.25. KL Kepong fell after Credit Suisse group reduce its rating on the plantation to underperform from outperform as the share price had outperformed the market. The Asian palm oil industry was also lowered to market weight from overweight, according to Bloomberg. KLK fell 30 sen to RM10.40, Sime Darby 10 sen to RM5.65 while Tenaga gave up five sen to RM6.10.
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