KLCI off to flat start, remains below 1,700 as region stays cautious

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KUALA LUMPUR (March 6): The FBM KLCI started flat this morning, against the backdrop of cautious regional markets.

At 9.10am, the FBM KLCI added 0.37 points to 1,685.99.

The early gainers included British American Tobacco (M) Bhd, Dutch Lady Milk Industries Bhd, Syarikat Takaful Malaysia Keluarga Bhd, Petronas Chemicals Group Bhd, Genting Bhd, HeiTech Padu Bhd, Hong Leong Financial Group Bhd, Cheetah Holdings Bhd and Teck Guan Perdana Bhd.

Asian stocks clung to tight ranges on Wednesday, as investors awaited fresh directional cues from U.S.-China trade negotiations and a weaker Wall Street finish capped broader gains, while robust U.S. economic data supported the dollar, according to Reuters.

MSCI's broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan was barely changed. Australian stocks added 0.2 percent while Japan's Nikkei declined 0.5 percent, it said.

Kenanga IB Research said Asian stock markets closed mixed with some taking lead from Wall Street’s losses on Monday while China advanced on its government’s intention to strengthen the economy.

It said back-home, the FBM KLCI fell by another 8.37 points or 0.49% to close at 1,685.62.

“Overall, the technical outlook appears lacklustre at the moment as key momentum indicators are bearish.

“The index is likely to trend lower to its support level at 1,670 (S1) and even 1,630 (S2). Should the trade war end, the index may test its immediate resistance at 1,730 (R1) and even 1,780 (R2),” it said.