KLCI edges lower in line with struggling regional markets


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KUALA LUMPUR (May 18): The FBM KLCI edged lower in early trade in line with struggling regional markets, weighed by losses at select blue chips.

At 9.02am, the FBM KLCI shed 0.04 points to 1,811.88.

The top losers included British American Tobacco (M) Bhd, Globetronics Technology Bhd, Hong Leong Bank Bhd, IOI Corporation Bhd, Muhibbah Engineering Bhd, AMMB Holdings Bhd, Gamuda Bhd and Unisem (M) Bhd.

Asian shares struggled on Monday after soft data raised more questions about the health of the U.S. economy, according to Reuters.

MSCI's broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan was little changed while Japan's Nikkei share average edged up just 0.1 percent, despite stronger-than-expected orders, it said.

U.S. industrial production unexpectedly fell for a fifth straight month in April while consumer confidence dropped to a seven-month low in early May, data showed on Friday, pushing down the dollar and U.S. bond yields, said Reuters.

JF Apex Securities Research in a market preview today said US markets closed mixed with the S&P extending its record high despite lower economic data on consumer sentiment and industrial production.

Meanwhile, it said European stocks ended lower after weaker US economic data and higher euro currency.

“On the local market, the FBM KLCI continued its upward rebound after gaining 4.37 points to 1811.92 points.

“Due to the lack of catalyst, we expect the FBM KLCI to consolidate and trend sideways below the resistance of 1830 points,” it said.