KLCI down 0.42% in line with regional falter

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KUALA LUMPUR (Jan 29): The FBM KLCI was down 0.42% at mid-morning today, in line with the falter at the regional markets.

At 10.05am, the FBM KLCI was down 7.02 points to 1,690.48.

Losers led gainers by 290 to 176, while 263 counters traded unchanged. Volume was 671.4 million shares valued at RM322.33 million.

The top losers included Nestle (M) Bhd, PPB Group Bhd, Heineken Malaysia Bhd, Kuala Lumpur Kepong Bhd, Negri Sembilan Oil Palms Bhd, Petronas Chemicals Group Bhd, Hong Leong Financial Group Bhd, Fraser & Neave Holdings Bhd and Atlan Holdings Bhd.

The actives included Sapura Energy Bhd, Eduspec Holdings Bhd, Bumi Armada Bhd, Hubline Bhd, Iris Corp Bhd and Sinmah Capital Bhd.

The gainers included Time Dotcom Bhd, Dutch Lady Milk Industries Bhd, Cahya Mata Sarawak Bhd, Tong Herr Resources Bhd, SAM Engineering & Equipment (M) Bhd, Rapid Synergy Bhd and RHB Bank Bhd.

Asian shares faltered on Tuesday and the US dollar hovered near two-week lows as prospects for a Sino-US trade deal was dealt a blow after the United States charged Chinese telecom firm Huawei with bank fraud and for conspiring to steal trade secrets, according to Reuters.

MSCI's broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan slipped 0.5% with Australia's benchmark index down 0.7% and South Korea's Kospi off 0.6%, the newswire said.

Hong Leong IB Research said as the tone of the ongoing corporate earnings has contributed towards a weaker tone in the stock markets, the upside will be capped for Wall Street over the near term.

"Also, the outcome of the trade talks later this week will be a major focus at least for the near term and investors are likely to stay cautious. The Dow is likely to be capped around 24,965 (SMA200).

"We expect the negative sentiment from Wall Street to spill over towards stocks on the local front as traders may lock in profits ahead of the Chinese New Year long holiday.

"Besides, the softer Brent oil prices and stronger ringgit tone yesterday could pressure the buying interest on O&G (oil and gas) and export-oriented sectors throughout this week. The FBM KLCI is likely to remain range bound around 1,700 over the near term," it said.