KLCI flat, builders rise ahead of Budget 2020

KLCI flat, builders rise ahead of Budget 2020
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KUALA LUMPUR (Oct 8): The FBM KLCI closed down 0.21 point or 0.01% today at 1,558.79 while Bursa Malaysia's construction stocks rose ahead of the nation's Budget 2020 announcement on Friday (Oct 11).

Globally today, investors appeared to take cue from China's services sector data as they anticipated the outcome of US-China trade talks later this week. CNBC reported, citing sources, the talks would be held from Thursday to Friday (Oct 10 to 11).

At Bursa today, the construction index closed up 4.13 points or 2.04% at 206.44 at 5pm to become the largest percentage gainer among the bourse's indices.

"Despite the rally in most regional markets, the Malaysian stock market was down mainly on foreign investors adopting a waiting game ahead of the 2020 Budget announcement," Rakuten Trade Sdn Bhd deputy head of research Vincent Lau told theedgemarkets.com.

On the construction index, Lau said investors are anticipating the Budget 2020 announcement to include measures, which will boost construction job visibility.

The KLCI had earlier today risen to its intraday high of 1,565.16 before declining at about 10am. At a glance, investors appeared to have taken profit when news broke that China's Caixin/Markit services purchasing managers' index fell to 51.3 last month, the weakest since February, versus August's 52.1.

Reuters reported that services account for more than half of China's economy, providing a key buffer as persistent trade tensions with the US weigh heavily on China's manufacturing sector.

Across Asian stock markets, it was reported that Asian shares inched up on Tuesday, with Chinese shares making decent gains after a week-long holiday, though investors remained cautious over US-China trade talks after President Donald Trump said a quick deal was unlikely.

Across Bursa, 2.41 billion shares worth RM1.72 billion were traded. The most active stocks included construction companies Ekovest Bhd and Iskandar Waterfront City Bhd (IWCity).

Ekovest and IWCity settled with a volume of some 75 million and 58 million shares respectively.

Ekovest's share price closed up 6.5 sen or 8.9% at 79.5 sen while IWCity rose 7.5 sen or 8.93% to 91.5 sen.