KLCI bucks regional trend, dips 0.16%

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KUALA LUMPUR (March 22): The FBM KLCI retreated at mid-morning today and gave up earlier gains, bucking the regional trend.

At 10.01am, the FBM KLCI fell 2.62 points or 0.16% to 1,661.04. The index had earlier risen to a high of 1,673.45.

Losers edged gainers by 244 to 224, while 300 counters traded unchanged. Volume was 659.66 million shares valued at RM385.43 million.

The losers included Nestle (M) Bhd, Dutch Lady Milk Industries Bhd, Petronas Dagangan Bhd, Hong Leong Bank Bhd, UMW Holdings Bhd and Latitude Tree Holdings Bhd.

The actives included Berjaya Corp Bhd, My EG Services Bhd, Dynaciate Group Bhd, Dayang Enterprise Holdings Bhd and Eversendai Corp Bhd.

The gainers included Apex Healthcare Bhd, KESM Industries Bhd, Allianz Malaysia Bhd, ViTrox Corp Bhd, Pintaras Jaya Bhd, Syarikat Takaful Malaysia Keluarga Bhd, Sarawak Plantation Bhd and Muhibbah Engineering (M) Bhd.

Asian shares advanced on Friday after upbeat data and optimism in the tech sector lifted Wall Street stocks, helping calm some of the jitters sparked by the US Federal Reserve's cautious outlook on the world's biggest economy, according to Reuters.

MSCI's broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan rose 0.25% while Japan's Nikkei gained 0.3%, it said.

Hong Leong IB Research said that on Wall Street, the relief rebound was due to the more dovish stance from the Fed and this may contribute towards the short-term rally at least to retest the 26,000-26,343 on the Dow.

"Nevertheless, with the uncertain trade developments between the US and China, coupled with the weaker 2019 global growth forecast by Federal Reserve, we expect that will limit Wall Street's upside potential on the longer-term view.

"Tracking the overnight Wall Street performances, we anticipate stocks on the local front could be due for a technical rebound at least for the near term.

"However, on the longer term, with most of the central bankers cutting down the 2019 economic outlook, upside on the key indices may be capped. The FBM KLCI's resistance is located around 1,680-1,700," it said.