Soggy start for KLCI, falls 0.57%

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KUALA LUMPUR (Jan 28): The FBM KLCI got off to a soggy start on Wednesday and fell 0.57% in line with the retreat at regional markets, weighed by losses at blue chips.

At 9.02am, the FBM KLCI lost 10.18 points to 1,792.99.

The top losers included Hong Leong Bank Bhd, UMW Holdings Bhd, IJM Corporation Bhd, Petronas Chemicals Group Bhd, Lafarge Malaysia Bhd, KLCC Property Holdings Bhd, Maxis Bhd, AMMB Holdings Bhd, Malayan Banking Bhd and Sime Darby Bhd.

Asian stock markets followed Wall Street into the red early on Wednesday, while the euro managed a rare rally on speculation the Federal Reserve could take a dovish turn in its post-meeting statement later in the session, according to Reuters.

Apple Inc provided some relief after the bell as record sales of its iPhone line helped it beat expectations, sending its stock up 5 percent, it said.

But earnings from other majors generally disappointed, with multinationals from DuPont to Microsoft Corp complaining that a strong U.S. dollar was hurting profits, said Reuters.

JF Apex Securities Research in its market preview Wednesday said U.S. stocks dropped sharply on Tuesday as corporations reported disappointing earnings and orders for U.S. business equipment unexpectedly declined in December, indicating the impact of the slowing global economy on US multinationals.

Similarly, it said European markets closed down yesterday, after a number of Wall Street's biggest firms missed earnings expectations as a result of the consistently strong dollar.

“We expect the local bourse to inch down today, tracking overnight losses in overseas markets with our support level of 1765, following yesterday’s gain of 6.73 points or 0.37% to 1803.17 points,” it said.