KLCI dips as select blue chips drag

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KUALA LUMPUR (Feb 13): The FBM KLCI fell at the midday break today, dragged by select index-linked blue chips including Genting Plantations Bhd and CIMB Group Holdings Bhd.

At 12.30pm, the FBM KLCI dipped 2.99 points to 1,684.42. The index had earlier risen to a high of 1,688.46.

Gainers led losers by 362 to 317, while 347 counters traded unchanged. Volume was 1.4 billion shares valued at RM771.25 million.

Losers included British American Tobacco (M) Bhd, Batu Kawan Bhd, Nestle (M) Bhd, Genting Plantations, United Malacca Bhd, MSM Malaysia Holdings Bhd, Chin Teck Plantations Bhd, Astro Malaysia Holdings Bhd, Ireka Corp Bhd and CIMB.

The actives included Barakah Offshore Petroleum Bhd, Tatt Giap Group Bhd, Bumi Armada Bhd, My EG Services Bhd, Eastern & Oriental Bhd, Prestariang Bhd and Velesto Energy Bhd.

The gainers included Dutch Lady Milk Industries Bhd, United Plantations Bhd, Syarikat Takaful Malaysia Keluarga Bhd, Petron Malaysia Refining & Marketing Bhd, Far East Holdings Bhd, IHH Healthcare Bhd and Lotte Chemical Titan Holding Bhd.

Asian stocks edged up to a more than four-month high on Wednesday, lifted by optimism that the United States and China might be able to hammer out a deal to resolve their nearly year-long trade dispute, according to Reuters.

MSCI's broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan rose as much as 0.5% to hit its highest level since early October, the newswire said.

Affin Hwang Capital Research said the FBM KLCI Index closed flat in yesterday's session, dropping only 1.15 points or 0.07%, closing at 1,687.41.

It said markets are experiencing low volatility ever since the start of 2019 with the index hovering within a 40-point range around 1,665-1,705, possibly due to the lack of positive catalysts to spur investors' confidence.

"Technically, a breach above the upper range of 1,705 would be bullish biased while a fall below 1,665 may signal the start of a downward movement.

"Anticipate the FBM KLCI Index to congest sideways with downward biases," the research house said.