KLCI falls 0.14% in continued sluggish trading

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KUALA LUMPUR (Feb 7): The FBM KLCI slipped 0.14% or 2.4 points to close at 1,688.84 today due in part to falls in heavyweights such as Tenaga Nasional Bhd, Sime Darby Bhd and Malayan Banking Bhd.

Trading continued to be sluggish with a section of investors still preferring to stay at the sidelines awaiting better leads.

Areca Capital Sdn Bhd chief executive and fund manager Danny Wong, however, noted that the market has attracted some fresh buying interest, supported by the price of crude oil and better clarity on US economic policies under Donald Trump's presidency.

"Since early-January, there have been upsides in stock prices with the FBM KLCI trading above 1,600 points. This is obviously better than last year when earnings and sentiment were bad," Wong told theedgemarkets.com over telephone.

"If oil prices continue strengthening to about US$50–US$60 (a barrel) amid OPEC's output cuts, we could be seeing the local stock market hitting 1,700 points," he added.

A total of 2.14 billion shares valued at about RM2.1 billion were traded today. There were 436 gainers and 420 losers.

Reuters reported that the demand for Asian stocks and the euro had subsided on continued economic and political concerns following the slump of China's foreign exchange reserves in January.

In the United States, Wall Street slipped 0.2%, dragged down by the falling oil prices as well as weaker sentiment due to Trump's economic policies.

On the regional front, Japan's Nikkei 225 slipped 0.35%, Hong Kong's Hang Seng Index declined 0.07%, and South Korea's Kospi dipped 0.12%.