KLCI erases previous day's gains, closes 0.34% lower

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KUALA LUMPUR (April 8): The FBM KLCI stayed in the red, erasing gains from Thursday to close 0.34% lower, in line with regional markets as US equities saw a lower overnight close.

At 5pm, the benchmark index contracted 5.89 points or 0.34% to close at 1,718.40 points. On a week-on-week basis, however, the KLCI gained 0.46% compared to its closing of 1,710.55 on April 1.

Inter-Pacific Securities Sdn Bhd head of research Pong Teng Siew said the market today was generally influenced by the weaker close in developed markets.

"For the KLCI, the market is generally influenced by the poor close in most developed markets. This could be due to the renewed worries on Europe's banking sector," he said, noting the decline in European bank stocks yesterday.

Going forward, Pong said the KLCI will still be driven by foreign buying but added that buying activity has tapered down slightly.

"The main reason behind the index's inability to break the 1,730 resistance level could be attributed to the easing in buying by these foreign funds," he said.

Across the board, a total of 1.44 billion shares, valued at RM1.82 billion, were traded. Decliners outnumbered gainers at 435 against 365, while 387 counters were unchanged.

Blue chip counters, such as British American Tobacco (Malaysia) Bhd and Public Bank Bhd, were among top decliners, while the gainers were led by Panasonic Manufacturing Malaysia Bhd. The most actively traded stock was Vivocom International Holdings Bhd.

Regionally, South Korea's Kospi fell 0.09%, while Japan's Nikkei and Hong Kong's Hang Seng gained 0.46% and 0.51% respectively.

Reuters reported that most Asian shares fell to three-week lows on Friday, but Japan bucked the trend after its finance minister pledged to guard against strong moves in the yen in either direction.

MSCI's broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan fell 0.2%, heading for a weekly drop of 1.5%.