KLCI falls 0.3% on lack of leads

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KUALA LUMPUR (Jan 13): The FBM KLCI fell 5.26 points or 0.3% today in less active trading as investors stayed away on lack of trading leads.

The KLCI ended at 1,672.5 points, dragged down by stocks such as British American Tobacco (M) Bhd (BAT), YTL Corp Bhd and Genting Bhd.

Mercury Securities Sdn Bhd research head Edmund Tham said there was reduced trading activity as there was not much excitement or news flow in the market.

“In the local scene, there is not much news flow. The decliners also outnumbered the gainers,” he said, indicating that the broader market was lower.

At the close, there were 464 decliners versus 327 advancers. A total of 2.21 billion shares valued at RM1.92 billion changed hands compared with 2.54 billion shares worth RM2.19 billion traded yesterday.

The top gainer was United Plantations Bhd, while the leading decliner was BAT. The most actively-traded counter was Hibiscus Petroleum Bhd.

Across Asia, Japan's Nikkei 225 gained 0.8%, South Korea's Kospi fell 0.5% while Hong Kong's Hang Seng gained 0.47%.

Reuters reported that Asian shares dipped today but were on track for weekly gains while the dollar was poised for a losing week, with investors disappointed that President-elect Donald Trump failed to elaborate on stimulus plans at a news conference two days ago.

Investors largely shrugged off trade data from China. December exports fell by a more-than-expected 6.1% from a year earlier, while imports beat forecasts slightly, government data released on Friday showed.

As the world's largest trading nation, China could come under pressure from protectionist measures this year if Trump follows through on his campaign pledges to brand it a currency manipulator and impose heavy tariffs on the country's imports.