KLCI ekes out marginal gains as regional markets retreat

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KUALA LUMPUR (April 12): The FBM KLCI eked out marginal gains at midday break today, while most regional markets drifted lower in cautious trade.

At 12.30pm, the FBM KLCI added 2.63 points to 1,626.86.

Gainers led losers by 284 to 237, while 543 counters traded unchanged. Volume was 1.65 billion shares, valued at RM852.23 million.

The gainers included Nestle (M) Bhd, British American Tobacco (M) Bhd, Tenaga Nasional Bhd, PPB Group Bhd, Carlsberg Brewery Malaysia Bhd, Malaysia Airports Holdings Bhd, Hong Leong Industries Bhd, Oriental Holdings Bhd, Syarikat Takaful Malaysia Keluarga Bhd and Pintaras Jaya Bhd.

The actives included Bina Puri Holdings Bhd, Bumi Armada Bhd, Ekovest Bhd, Sapura Energy Bhd, Econpile Holdings Bhd, Sedania Innovator Bhd and Iskandar Waterfront City Bhd.

The decliners included Rapid Synergy Bhd, Petronas Chemicals Group Bhd, Vitrox Corp Bhd, Aeon Credit Service (M) Bhd, Bintulu Port Holdings Bhd and Astro Malaysia Holdings Bhd.

Most Southeast Asian stock markets edged lower on Friday, with Philippines slipping the most, as investors exercised caution ahead of China's March trade data and a slower first quarter GDP growth in Singapore added to global growth worries, according to Reuters.

China's exports are expected to have rebounded in March after a sharp drop in February, while imports likely shrank for a fourth straight month but at a more modest pace, a Reuters poll showed.

CIMB Retail Research said the FBMKLCI Index plunged 15.2 points yesterday, dragged down by losses in heavyweights led by Tenaga Nasional Bhd, Malaysia Airports Holdings Bhd and Maxis Bhd.

The research house said the negative sentiment was also dampened by a weaker ringgit against the greenback.

“The index has breached below the December 2018 low of 1,627. The overall trend remains down, given the series of lower lows and lower highs formation from the 1,732 high.

“Coupled with the domestic political uncertainty, trade wars as well as weak ringgit, the index is likely to fall further and test the wedge support at 1,610-1,617, followed by the psychological 1,600 levels next.

“For the FBM Small Cap index, the inverted Head & Shoulder formation breakout remains valid, as long as the index could stay well above 13,123. Resistance: 1,645 & 1,660. Support: 1,617 & 1,600,” it said.