KLCI ekes out marginal gain ahead of Budget 2019

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KUALA LUMPUR (Nov 2): The FBM KLCI managed to barely stay in the positive zone at the midday break today as investors remained jittery ahead of the tabling of Budget 2019 later at 4pm.

With the Pakatan Harapan government having said that it would be a tough balancing act, investors have turned more cautious.

At 12.30pm, the FBM KLCI was up 0.01 points to 1,706.93. The index had earlier risen to its intra-morning high of 1,714.11.

Gainers led losers by 510 to 228, while 1,102 counters traded unchanged. Volume was 1.55 billion shares valued at RM823.86 million.

The gainers included KESM Industries Bhd, Hong Leong Financial Group Bhd, Heineken Malaysia Bhd, Nestle (M) Bhd, Amway (M) Holdings Bhd, SAM Engineering & Equipment (M) Bhd, Carlsberg Brewery Malaysia Bhd, Aeon Credit Service (M) Bhd, Petron Malaysia Refining & Marketing Bhd and Hong Leong Industries Bhd.

The actives included Seacera Group Bhd, Vivocom Intl Holdings Bhd, AsirAsia X Bhd, Datasonic Group Bhd, PUC Bhd, Sapura Energy Bhd, Nextgreen Global Bhd and UCrest Bhd.

The decliners included Malaysia-listed Hang Seng Index-linked put warrants, Malaysian Pacific Industries Bhd, Padini Holdings Bhd and British American Tobacco (M) Bhd.

Asian shares jumped on Friday after a phone call between the US and Chinese presidents raised hopes of a thaw in trade tensions, but gains were checked by signs of slowing global growth and a warning from tech giant Apple Inc on holiday sales, according to Reuters.

MSCI's broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan touched a 2½-week high and was last up 1.4%, adding to the previous session's strong gains, it said.

Affin Hwang Capital Research said the FBM KLCI Index yesterday fell as much as 10 points before clawing back losses later in the session, dropping only 2.35 points to close at 1,706.92.

It said the index is currently hovering above the 1,700 psychological level, acting as support for prices.

"Sentiments in the global market [have] been improving for the past few days and this can be seen as positive for our index.

"Anticipate the FBM KLCI Index to stage a technical rebound in the near term," it said.