KLCI holds on to marginal gains as Petronas-linked stocks lift

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KUALA LUMPUR (Aug 15): The FBM KLCI held on to its marginal gains at mid-morning today, despite the retreat at most regional markets, propped up by Petronas-linked stocks.

At 10am, the FBM KLCI was up 2.81 points to 1,786.59.

Gainers led losers by 308 to 236, while 290 counters traded unchanged. Volume was 632.95 million shares valued at RM315.83 million.

The top gainers included Petronas Dagangan Bhd, Elsoft Research Bhd, Choo Bee Metal Industries Bhd, Thong Guan Industries Bhd, Petronas Gas Bhd and Ann Joo Resources Bhd.

The actives included FoundPac Group Bhd, Goodway Integrated Industries Bhd, Luster Industries Bhd, TDM Bhd, Evergreen Fibreboard Bhd and JCY International Bhd.

The losers included Nestle (M) Bhd, British American Tobacco (M) Bhd, Hong Leong Bank Bhd, RHB Bank Bhd, Apex Healthcare Bhd, Ajnomoto (M) Bhd, LPI Capital Bhd and Hong Leong Industries Bhd.

Asian stocks sagged on Wednesday, failing to track Wall Street's gains and with the US dollar near a 13-month high as concerns about Turkey's financial crisis weighed on investor appetite, despite the lira's move away from an all-time low, according to Reuters.

The lira — which plummeted to a record low of 7.24 to the US dollar at the week's start, rattling global markets — stood little changed at 6.375 after rebounding nearly 8% overnight, it said.

Hong Leong IB Research in a traders' brief said with investors looking beyond the economic crisis in Turkey, at least for the near term, and focused on corporate earnings and economic growth in the US, it opined that the Dow may stay neutral and trend sideways between the 25,000-26,000 levels.

"Should there be any resurfacing of trade news flows within this month, we believe it will soften the underlying tone of the stock markets.

"With the slight recovery in overseas stock markets amid the ongoing Turkey concerns, we expect spillover buying support to lift sentiment on Bursa exchange.

"The FBM KLCI may turn positive bias over the near term, but upside could be capped near 1,800-1,810 amid the uncertain August reporting month," it said.