KLCI dips, tech stocks up as overall sentiment stays cautious

-A +A

KUALA LUMPUR (Jan 10): The FBM KLCI closed 4.19 points or 0.26% lower today at 1,591.46 on profit taking while the technology index rose the most among Bursa Malaysia indices.

Bursa's technology index, which tracks semiconductor-related companies' shares, closed up 0.4 point or 1.04% at 39.03 as US-China trade optimism and apparent de-escalation of US-Iran tension led to anticipation of growth in the global technology industry.

Overall sentiment, however, stayed cautious as there were no indications on how the US-Iran tension would further develop, analysts said. According to Hong Leong Investment Bank Bhd head of retail research Loui Low, the KLCI fell today on profit taking as the broader market saw investors adopting a conservative approach.

“Looking at all this, it may be good to trade on conservative factors such as REITs, utilities and high dividend yield stocks,” said Low.

Across Bursa today, 2.74 billion shares worth RM1.6 billion were traded. Top gainers included semiconductor-related companies KESM Industries Bhd and Malaysian Pacific Industries Bhd.

Leading decliners included KLCI stocks Petronas Dagangan Bhd, Hong Leong Financial Group Bhd and Axiata Group Bhd.

Globally, Reuters reported that the world’s shares hit a record high on Friday as relief over de-escalation of US-Iranian tensions quickly prompted investors to bet on faster global growth, especially in the technology sector.

It was reported that MSCI’s broadest gauge of the world’s stocks in 49 countries rose a tad to hit an all-time high and its index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan rose 0.18%.

"Asia’s gains followed record-setting in the pan-regional STOXX 600 index in Europe and the three major stock indexes on Wall Street. The S&P 500 gained 0.67%, with its technology sector rising more than 1%. Apple gained 2.1%, helped by news that sales of its iPhones in China in December jumped more than 18% year-on-year.

"Investors welcomed the report as a prelude to the upcoming visit by China’s Vice Premier Liu He, head of the country’s negotiation team in Sino-US trade talks, to Washington next week to sign a trade deal with the US," Reuters reported.