KLCI closes down 0.17%, as anticipation builds on US jobs data

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KUALA LUMPUR (Nov 6): The FBM KLCI slipped 2.84 points or 0.17% to finish at 1,685.70 points at the end of trading hours today, as the market awaits the release of the latest US employment data.

The ringgit also weakened 0.3% to 4.3112 against the US dollar at market close today. Similarly, it weakened against the Singapore dollar by 0.07% to 3.0621.

According to Reuters, Asian shares slipped on Friday as investors braced for US employment data that is expected to bolster the case for a US Federal Reserve interest rate increase as early as next month.

"Wall Street marked modest losses after a mixed spate of earnings, as investors awaited the non-farm payrolls report later this session.

"Economists expect the report to show that US employers added 180,000 jobs in October, more than September's increase of 142,000 jobs," said Reuters.

Regionally, markets were mixed: Japan's Nikkei 225 was up 0.78%, but Hong Kong's Hang Seng index fell 0.8%, while the South Korea's KOSPI index gave up 0.41%.

Closer to home, TA Securities Holdings Bhd technical chartist Stephen Soo said the upcoming Deepavali public holiday and school holidays may lead to some profit-taking activities on the local bourse.

"There may also be some market correction in store for next week, as the market is currently overbought," he told theedgemarkets.com.

Across the FBM KLCI, some 2.28 billion shares valued at RM2.02 billion were traded today.

Market breadth was largely mixed, with 500 gainers, 388 losers and 341 counters remaining unchanged.

The day's top gainers included Nestle (M) Bhd, United Plantations Bhd, Petronas Dagangan Bhd, British American Tobacco (M) Bhd and Kulim (Malaysia) Bhd.

Losers were led by Tasek Corp Bhd, Apollo Food Holdings Bhd, TIME dotCom Bhd, Malaysian Pacific Industries Bhd and Lingkaran Trans Kota Holdings Bhd.

The most active counter was Ho Wah Genting Bhd, with 58.12 million shares traded.

(Note: The Edge Research's fundamental score reflects a company's profitability and balance sheet strength, calculated based on historical numbers. The valuation score determines if a stock is attractively valued or not, also based on historical numbers. A score of 3 suggests strong fundamentals and attractive valuations.)