KLCI drifts into negative zone on lack of catalysts

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KUALA LUMPUR (July 20): The FBM KLCI drifted into negative territory at the midday break today, as a lack of fresh catalysts weighed on the local market.

At 12.30pm, the benchmark index slipped 4.46 points to 1,722.27. The index had earlier risen to its intra-morning high of 1,735.75.

The gainers led losers by 354 to 281, while 279 counters traded unchanged. Volume was 788.55 million shares, valued at RM647.32 million.

Meanwhile, the ringgit was quoted at 3.8083 per US dollar.

The top losers included British American Tobacco (M) Bhd, Cocoaland Holdings Bhd, IJM Corporation Bhd, Dutch Lady Milk Industries Bhd, RHB Capital Bhd and Scientex Bhd.

The actives included Frontken Corporation Bhd, AirAsia Bhd, JCY International Bhd, APFT Bhd, JAKS Resources Bhd and Perwaja Holdings Bhd.

The gainers included United Plantations Bhd, Latitude Tree Holdings Bhd, Top Glove Corporation Bhd, Lii Hen Industries Bhd, Lafarge Malaysia Bhd, KESM Industries Bhd and Nestle (M) Bhd.

The U.S dollar held broad gains in Asia on Monday, as investors looked ahead to higher interest rates from the Federal Reserve; while gold hit five-year lows, as a lack of global inflation left little to hedge against, according to Reuters.

Activity was light with Japan on holiday and a dearth of major data in the diary, leading to a cautious start for stocks, it said.

JF Apex Securities Research said US markets were mixed, with the Nasdaq hitting a record high after Google shares surged.

Meanwhile, it said European stocks closed flat, after creditors approved Greece's third bailout.

“On the local market, the FBM KLCI shed 0.53 points to 1726.73 points on Thursday's half day trading session.

“After clearing uncertainties on Greece, we expect the index to hover sideways, below the resistance of 1740 points,” it said.