KLCI up 0.43% in early trade, gains seen capped

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KUALA LUMPUR (Oct 31): The FBM KLCI pared some of its gains and looked poised to end the final trading day of October below the crucial 1,700-point level, having lost more than 100 points month-to-date.

At 10am, the FBM KLCI was up 5.73 points or 0.43% to 1,691.67. The index had earlier risen to a high of 1,694.58.

Gainers led losers by 387 to 102, while 220 counters traded unchanged. Volume was 571.72 million shares valued at RM306.19 million.

The gainers included Ajinomoto (M) Bhd, SAM Engineering & Equipment (M) Bhd, Malaysian Pacific Industries Bhd, Perusahaan Sadur Timah Malaysia (Perstima) Bhd, ViTrox Corp Bhd, Tenaga Nasional Bhd, Telekom Malaysia Bhd and Hong Leong Industries Bhd.

The actives included Seacera Group Bhd, Sapura Energy Bhd, Hibiscus Petroleum Bhd, Datasonic Group Bhd, Nova MSC Bhd, Prestariang Bhd and Permaju Industries Bhd.

The decliners included Heineken Malaysia Bhd, Malaysia Airports Holdings Bhd, Teo Seng Capital Bhd, Kumpulan Fima Bhd and Cycle & Carriage Bintang Bhd.

Asian stocks pulled away from 20-month lows to eke out small gains on Wednesday, thanks to a rebound on Wall Street though investors remained cautious after a torrid October month that saw trillions of dollars wiped out of global equity markets, according to Reuters.

A confluence of factors from Sino-US trade tensions to worries about US corporate earnings to the end of easy money in development economies have spurred volatility in financial markets in the past few weeks, it said.

Hong Leong IB Research in a traders' brief said with the sentiment staying soft on the back of potential slowdown in corporate earnings and the rising concerns over global outlook amid the prolonged trade war situation, there may be further selling pressure on Wall Street.

"Meanwhile, investors will be focusing on the corporate results from Facebook and Apple later this week.

"On the local bourse, we believe the trading activities will remain subdued ahead of the widely anticipated Budget 2019 on this Friday to understand a clearer picture on Malaysia's future growth outlook.

"Hence, the KLCI could be ranging between the 1,673-1,700 levels. Meanwhile, with the softer outlook guidance on tech companies in the US, we expect selling pressure to be seen on technology stocks in Malaysia," it said.