KLCI down 0.14% as sentiment stays bearish

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KUALA LUMPUR (Oct 18): The FBM KLCI was down 0.14% at the midday break as sentiment stayed bearish at the local bourse, tracking regional markets, as investors await more guidance from the 11th Malaysia Plan mid-term review scheduled for later today.

At 12.30pm, the FBM KLCI shed 2.48 points to 1,738.11.

Losers led gainers by 389 to 270, while 1,250 counters traded unchanged. Volume was 1.05 billion shares valued at RM897.45 million.

The losers included Nestle (M) Bhd, Hong Leong Financial Group Bhd, Fraser & Neave Holdings Bhd, Cycle & Carriage Bintang Bhd, Petronas Gas Bhd, Hap Seng Consolidated Bhd, KESM Industries Bhd, Magni-Tech Industries Bhd, Enra Group Bhd, Batu Kawan Bhd and LPI Capital Bhd.

The actives included Malaysian Resources Corp Bhd, Tiger Synergy Bhd, Lion Industries Corp Bhd, Barakah Offshore Petroleum Bhd, Hibiscus Petroleum Bhd, George Kent (M) Bhd and Frontken Corp Bhd.

The gainers included Heineken Malaysia Bhd, Carlsberg Brewery Malaysia Bhd, Dutch Lady Milk Industries Bhd, British American Tobacco (M) Bhd, Malaysian Pacific Industries Bhd, Pineapple Resources Bhd and Supermax Corp Bhd.

Stocks retreated in Asia after benchmark US Treasury yields climbed back towards seven-year highs in wake of minutes of the latest Federal Reserve policy meeting. China's currency hit its weakest since the start of last year, according to Bloomberg.

The yuan dipped against the US dollar in wake of the US Treasury refraining from naming China a currency manipulator, while at the same time escalating scrutiny of the country's exchange-rate policy. Chinese stocks underperformed, digging deeper into a bear market, as traders focus on troubled companies that used share holdings as collateral for loans. Equity benchmarks fell in Japan and South Korea, and US stock futures slid after a flat session on Wednesday. Oil traded in New York fell below US$70 a barrel on supply concerns, it said.

Kenanga IB Research said Asian markets ended higher yesterday on improved investors' sentiment, tracking Wall Street's big gains.

It said that back home, the FBM KLCI gained 3.75 points (+0.2%) to close marginally higher at 1,740.59.

"Technically, the outlook remains bearish following the emergence of an earlier 'head-and-shoulders' reversal chart pattern.

"However, on the shorter term, we do not discount the possibility of a continuation relief rebound rally given yesterday's candlestick represented a gap up and close above the high of its previous 'Bearish pin bar' candlestick pattern," it said.