KLCI erases most gains as regional markets retreat

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KUALA LUMPUR (Sept 1): The FBM KLCI erased most of its gains from the morning session at the midday break today, as regional markets retreated on concerns over China’s economic growth.

At 12.30pm, the FBM KLCI was up 9.99 points to 1,622.73. The index had earlier risen to its intra-morning high of 1,660.22.

Advancing issues outpaced declining issues by 391 to 273, while 270 counters traded unchanged. Volume was 1.03 billion shares, valued at RM1.17 billion.

The top gainers included Petronas Dagangan Bhd, Batu Kawan Bhd, Petronas Gas Bhd, Genting Bhd, Amway (M) Holdings Bhd, MISC Bhd, Kossan Rubber Industries Bhd and V.S. Industry Bhd.

The actively-traded stocks included Sumatec Resources Bhd, KNM Group Bhd, AirAsia Bhd, Nexgram Holdings Bhd, SapuraKencana Petroleum Bhd, The Media Shoppe Bhd and Perisai Petroleum Teknologi Bhd.

The decliners included British American Tobacco (M) Bhd, Danainfra Nasional Bhd, Lafarge Malaysia Bhd, Bursa Malaysia Bhd, Oriental Holdings Bhd, PPB Group Bhd, UMW Holdings Bhd and Suiwah Corporation Bhd.

Asian shares fell on Tuesday and the dollar struggled, after twin surveys showed China's manufacturing sector in the grip of its worst slump in several years, raising fresh fears about the health of its economy, according to Reuters.

China's official Purchasing Managers' Index (PMI) fell to 49.7 in August, from the previous month's reading of 50.0, the weakest showing in three years, it said.

BIMB Securities Research said that on earlier trading, key regional indexes ended mixed with strong gains in Thailand, Indonesia, Taiwan and Philippines, while China and Japan closed negative, as sentiment soured over soft domestic industrial output data.

The research house said that locally, the FBM KLCI closed higher last Friday (Aug 28), adding 11.04 points or 0.69% to 1,612.74, lifted mainly by banking and telco stocks.

“Trading participation saw net buying by foreign institutions, while local institutions and retail were net sellers.

“We expect the local market to remain volatile with slight bias to down trend, due to continuous selling by foreign investors and overnight retreat in global markets with the index hovering circa 1,600-10,” it said.