KLCI down 0.02%, investors await US developments

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KUALA LUMPUR (Feb 8): The FBM KLCI closed almost unchanged at 1,688.5 points compared to yesterday, as investors braced themselves ahead of more developments in the US, including the appeal court's verdict over US President Donald Trump's travel ban order this week.

A total of 2.29 billion shares valued at about RM2.44 billion were traded today. There were 471 gainers and 389 losers.

The top gainers on the KLCI included Hap Seng Consolidated Bhd, Petronas Dagangan Bhd, Genting Bhd and RHB Bank Bhd. The top losers were MISC Bhd, IOI Corp Bhd, DiGi.Com Bhd and Axiata Group Bhd.

Areca Capital Sdn Bhd chief executive and fund manager Danny Wong said the local stock market is expected to remain temporarily stagnant in light of the US appeal court's decision on Trump's order to ban entry for all refugees and visitors from seven predominantly Muslim nations.

"This week is a really important one. The [US appeal court] will finally decide if it agrees or disagrees with Trump's travel ban orders. As such, the FBM KLCI is expected to 'pause' for a while," he told theedgemarkets.com over telephone.

"Give it one or two weeks till we see more clarity from developments on the case. Further, we should brace ourselves should Trump announce new policies or executive orders. And not forgetting too his campaign promises especially with regards to the border tariff plan," Wong warned.

On the regional front, Japan's Nikkei 225 inched up 0.51%, Hong Kong's Hang Seng Index rose 0.66%, and South Korea's Kospi dipped 0.49%.

Reuters today had reported that Asian share markets slid below four-month highs while the euro was pressured as Trump's latest policies had raised doubts, whereas the upcoming French election weighs on investors' outlook.