KLCI erases most gains, stays marginally up

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KUALA LUMPUR (Feb 18): The FBM KLCI erased most of its earlier gains in the morning session today, despite the firmer regional markets.

At 12.30pm, the FBM KLCI was up 2.18 points to 1,691.01. The index had earlier risen to a high of 1,695.61.

Gainers led losers by 389 to 300, while 369 counters traded unchanged. Volume was 1.55 billion shares valued at RM729.58 million.

The gainers included Carlsberg Brewery Malaysia Bhd, Aeon Credit Service (M) Bhd, Amway (M) Holdings Bhd, Fraser & Neave Holdings Bhd, Nestle (M) Bhd, New Hoong Fatt Holdings Bhd, Heineken Malaysia Bhd and Panasonic Manufacturing Malaysia Bhd.

The actives included Sapura Energy Bhd, Borneo Oil Bhd, Bumi Armada Bhd, Eduspec Holdings Bhd, Iris Corp Bhd, PUC Bhd and Sumatec Resources Bhd.

The decliners included British American Tobacco (M) Bhd, Hong Leong Financial Group Bhd, LPI Capital Bhd, Kuala Lumpur Kepong Bhd, Dutch Lady Milk Industries Bhd, Bursa Malaysia Bhd and Rapid Synergy Bhd.

Southeast Asian stock markets climbed on Monday as investors hoped for a resolution to the drawn-out Sino-US trade dispute after both sides offered optimism following the Beijing talks, while Singaporean shares rose on the back of upbeat earnings, according to Reuters.

US President Donald Trump, speaking at a White House news conference, said the United States was closer than ever before to "having a real trade deal" with China, and said he would be "honored" to remove tariffs if an agreement can be reached, the newswire said.

Affin Hwang Capital Research said the FBM KLCI Index closed flat (-0.23 points or -0.01%) on Friday (Feb 15).

It said that last week, the index made no progress at all, congesting sideways amid the lack of fresh catalysts.

"Volatility was very low with prices hovering within a 12 points range.

"Nonetheless, a positive note to take away is that prices [were] respectful of the EMA20d (20-day exponential moving average), possibly acting as a dynamic support level as the index managed to stay just above it.

"Anticipate the FBM KLCI Index to congest sideways with downward biases," it said.