KLCI down 0.28% as select blue chips weigh

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KUALA LUMPUR (July 22): The FBM KLCI fell 0.28% at mid-morning today, tracking regional markets, weighed by select index-linked blue chips.

At 10am, the FBM KLCI fell 4.53 points to 1,653.66.

Losers led gainers by 306 to 185, while 276 counters traded unchanged. Volume was 786.67 million shares valued at RM249.11 million.

The losers included Nestle (M) Bhd, Petronas Dagangan Bhd, British American Tobacco (M) Bhd, Hong Leong Bank Bhd, Kuala Lumpur Kepong Bhd, PPB Group Bhd and Time Dotcom Bhd.

The actives included Sapura Energy Bhd, NetX Holdings Bhd, Iris Corp Bhd, KNM Group Bhd and Green Packet Bhd.

The gainers included Carlsberg Brewery Malaysia Bhd, Malaysian Pacific Industries Bhd, HeiTech Padu Bhd, Scicom (MSC) Bhd, DKSH Holdings (M) Bhd, Paramount Corp Bhd, LPI Capital Bhd and Southern Steel Bhd.

Asia stocks eased on Monday as investors reduced expectations of an aggressive interest rate cut by the Federal Reserve (Fed), while heightened Middle East tensions following an Iranian seizure of a British tanker lifted crude oil prices, according to Reuters.

MSCI's broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan was down 0.1%, it said.

Hong Leong IB Research said with the uncertain comments from the Fed's officials, which changed the interest rates outlook expectations, traders may deploy a defensive and cautious approach ahead of the Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC) meeting (July 30-31).

"In the meantime, investors will be monitoring few key events this week such as ECB monetary policy statement and the US 2Q GDP data that will be released this Thursday and Friday, respectively.

"With the mixed technical readings, we expect the technical rebound on KLCI to be limited, despite the pickup in foreign trade participation last week.

"In addition, with one of the Fed officials toning down the speculation of deeper interest rate cut, trading sentiment are likely to be neutral today. The KLCI may trend within a range between 1,666-1,680," it said.