KLCI flat as investors remain cautious ahead of Budget 2017

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KUALA LUMPUR (Oct 20): The FBM KLCI closed 1.09 points or 0.1% lower today, underperforming most regional markets, as investors adopted a cautious stance ahead of the tabling of Budget 2017 tomorrow.

The benchmark index KLCI closed at 1,667.18, after moving between 1,666.95 and 1,671.49. Losses in heavyweights such as Genting Bhd, Malayan Banking Bhd and MISC Bhd contributed to the index's decline.

Malacca Securities Sdn Bhd analyst Kenneth Leong said the KLCI moved in a tight range today, ahead of the budget presentation.

“The KLCI underperformed regional indices. Investors are staying cautious, ahead of the Budget 2017 announcement,” he said via phone.

He noted that trading volume has been thin over the last few days.

Reuters reported Asian shares advanced today, propelled by strong U.S. earnings and oil prices near a 15-month high, while the Mexican peso hit a six-week high, after the final U.S. presidential debate before the Nov 8 election.

In the third and final debate between Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump and Democrat Hillary Clinton, Trump tried to reverse the momentum in an election that polls show is tilting away from him.

Japan's Nikkei 225 rose 1.39%, Hong Kong's Hang Seng climbed 0.3%, while Kospi fell 0.02%.

On Bursa Malaysia, 1.5 billion shares worth RM1.49 billion were traded. Decliners outnumbered gainers 417 to 342.

Hibiscus Petroleum Bhd was the most actively-traded stock. The leading gainer was British American Tobacco Bhd, while Dutch Lady Milk Industries Bhd was the biggest decliner.