KLCI flat after tracking China stock losses

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KUALA LUMPUR (April 12): The FBM KLCI fell 0.28 point, extending losses as China equities declined. The ringgit strengthened.

At 5pm, the KLCI closed at 1,715.00 points on losses in stocks like DiGi.Com Bhd and IHH Healthcare Bhd. The KLCI had cut losses after falling to an intraday low of 1,711.41 and as the ringgit strengthened to 3.8800.

Yesterday, the KLCI fell 3.12 points or 0.2% to close at 1,715.28.

In China today, the Shanghai Composite declined 0.34% although Hong Kong's Hang Seng was up 0.31%. Japan's Nikkei 225 rose 1.13%

Reuters reported that China's main stock indexes fell on Tuesday, dragged lower by property and tech shares, as investors took profit from the previous session's more than 1% rally.

Elsewhere, Reuters also reported that Asian stocks rose on Tuesday, led by a rebound in Japanese shares as investors hunted for bargains, and commodities like crude oil strengthened as the weaker US dollar made them cheaper for buyers using currencies other than the greenback.

In Malaysia, Mercury Securities Sdn Bhd research head Edmund Tham told theedgemarkets.com that market direction was still unpredictable as it would depend on various external factors.

He said currency and oil price movements besides China's economic data would be closely watched.

"The local stock market's direction is still difficult to predict," he told theedgemarkets.com via telephone.

Across Bursa Malaysia, 1.61 billion shares valued at RM1.46 billion were traded. Gainers outnumbered decliners at 390 against 371.

British American Tobacco (Malaysia) Bhd and Hong Leong Financial Group Bhd were among top gainers while the leading decliner was United Plantations Bhd.

Sumatec Resources Bhd was the most actively-traded stock.