KLCI drifts lower as Maybank drags, regional markets stay sluggish

KLCI drifts lower as Maybank drags, regional markets stay sluggish
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KUALA LUMPUR (Nov 12): The FBM KLCI drifted lower at mid-morning today as key index-linked stocks including Malayan Banking Bhd (Maybank) dragged, against the backdrop of sluggish regional markets.

At 10am, the FBM KLCI shed 2.15 points to 1,606. The index had earlier risen to a high of 1,612.75.

Gainers led losers by 292 to 224, while 277 counters traded unchanged. Volume was 691.95 million shares valued at RM283.87 million.

The top losers included Malaysia Airports Holdings Bhd, Hong Leong Bank Bhd, Petron Malaysia Refining & Marketing Bhd, Malayan Cement Bhd, Carlsberg Brewery Malaysia Bhd, Maybank, Y&G Corp Bhd, Kossan Rubber Industries Bhd and Time Dotcom Bhd.

The actives included Sapura Energy Bhd, Bumi Armada Bhd, Tanco Holdings Bhd, AirAsia X Bhd, Velesto Energy Bhd, NetX Holdings Bhd, Rimbunan Sawit Bhd and DGB Asia Bhd.

The gainers included Nestle (M) Bhd, Cycle & Carriage Bintang Bhd, Hong Leong Financial Group Bhd, Panasonic Manufacturing Malaysia Bhd, Fraser & Neave Holdings Bhd, Ajinomoto (M) Bhd, Kuala Lumpur Kepong Bhd and UWC Bhd.

Asian share markets got off to a sluggish start on Tuesday amid uncertainty over both the Sino-US trade talks and the domestic political situation in Hong Kong, according to Reuters.

MSCI's broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan eased 0.05%, following a sharp 1.2% pullback on Monday, it said.

Hong Leong IB Research (HLIB) said given the overbought condition on major indexes, the upside potential likely to be capped over the near term, with the investors monitoring closely the trade progress between the US and China, where President Donald Trump has been sending conflicting signals over the past weeks.

"Meanwhile, market participants will also be focusing on the Trump impeachment hearing this Wednesday. Hence, with the slightly negative bias catalysts for now, we believe the Dow upside may be capped near the 28,000 level," it said.

On the local front, HLIB expects the KLCI to digest the recent extended technical rebound and the key index could take a breather moving into the full-blown November reporting month with the expectation of a lacklustre reporting season.

"However, we opine that traders may take the opportunity to position for a decent window dressing in December.

"The KLCI's trading range is expected to be hovering within 1,580-1,620 over the near term," it said.