KLCI up 0.16% as regional markets stay mixed

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KUALA LUMPUR (April 19): The FBM KLCI eked out slim gains at the midday break today, against the backdrop of mixed regional markets.

At 12.30pm, the FBM KLCI was up 2.63 points to 1,622.36.

Gainers led losers by 315 to 187, while 538 counters traded unchanged. Volume was 1.33 billion shares valued at RM750.74 million.

The top gainers included Heineken Malaysia Bhd, United Plantations Bhd, DWL Resources Bhd, Allianz Malaysia Bhd, Dufu Technology Corp Bhd, Hong Leong Financial Group Bhd, Genting Malaysia Bhd and Iskandar Waterfront City Bhd (IWCity).

The actives included Ekovest Bhd, IWCity, Sapura Energy Bhd, Compugates Holdings Bhd, KNM Group Bhd, Seacara Group Bhd and My EG Services Bhd.

The decliners included Hong Leong Industries Bhd, Amway (M) Holdings Bhd, Dutch Lady Milk Industries Bhd, Nestle (M) Bhd, UMW Holdings Bhd, Bintulu Port Holdings Bhd, Petronas Gas Bhd and Public Bank Bhd.

Stocks in Asia traded mixed Friday after modest gains in their US counterparts, ahead of a holiday weekend in many countries. The US dollar was little changed, according to Bloomberg.

Shares climbed in Japan and Korea, and retreated in China, with trading volumes lighter than usual. The yen ticked higher and Japanese 10-year bond yields rose after the Bank of Japan cut purchases of some longer-dated bonds in a regular operation. Earlier, the S&P 500 Index closed up after data showed retail sales jumped by the most since September 2017 and unemployment claims fell. The euro pared losses following disappointing German and euro-area factory numbers, the newswire said.

Affin Hwang Capital Research said the FBM KLCI Index slid further, dropping 1.17 points or 0.07% on Thursday, closing at 1,619.73.

"During the trading session, prices initially pushed lower, reaching a low of 1,609.83 before buyers ultimately push prices back up again, closing relatively flat for the day.

"This led to the formation of a small 'bullish' pin bar (candlestick pattern) around the 1,615 key support level which is an indication of the potential presence of buyers.

"Downward bias in the FBM KLCI Index anticipated to continue," it said.