KLCI falls 0.75% as Asian shares go on defensive

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KUALA LUMPUR (Dec 14): The FBM KLCI fell 0.75% at mid-morning as regional markets went on the defensive.

At 10am, the FBM KLCI lost 12.53 points to 1,663.47.

Losers led gainers by 308 to 148, while 186 counters traded unchanged. Volume was 406.23 million shares valued at RM168.19 million.

The losers included British American Tobacco (M) Bhd, Petronas Dagangan Bhd, Tenaga Nasional Bhd, Hong Leong Bank Bhd, Public Bank Bhd, Nestle (M) Bhd, Hong Leong Financial Group Bhd, Carlsberg Brewery Malaysia Bhd, Malaysia Airports Holdings Bhd and Petronas Gas Bhd.

The actives included Vortex Consolidated Bhd, Hubline Bhd, DBE Gurney Resources Bhd, Bumi Armada Bhd, My EG Services Bhd, Jaks Resources Bhd and Hibiscus Resources Bhd.

The gainers included Kian Joo Can Factory Bhd. Can-One Bhd, Kuala Lumpur Kepong Bhd, SAM Engineering & Equipment Bhd and Malaysia-listed Hang Seng Index-linked put warrants.

Asian shares were on the defensive on Friday as investors kept a wary eye on economic tensions between Washington and Beijing while the euro was steady after the European Central Bank halted new bond purchases as expected, according to Reuters.

MSCI's broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan eased 0.3 percent while Japan's Nikkei dropped 0.4 percent, it said.

Hong Leong IB Research in a traders’ brief said in the US, following the neutral headlines on trade war, investors will be closely watching the outcome of the interest rate outlook by the Fed next week.

“In the meantime, energy shares should be in focus with the rising oil prices following the falling stock spikes in Oklahoma. Hence, we believe the Dow should be trending sideways (resistance: 25,091, support: 24,095) over the near term.

“On the local front, we opine that the technical rebound could extend higher without any negative news headlines related to trade disputes.

“Also, with the recovering Brent oil prices above US$60, we should be able to expect increase trading activities in oil and gas sector at least for the near term. However, we remain cautious on the market environment and we believe the KLCI’s upside might be capped along 1,700,” it said.