KLCI manages to stay afloat above 1,800 level

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KUALA LUMPUR (May 14): The FBM KLCI managed to stay afloat the crucial 1,800-points level at the midday break today, lifted by select blue chips.

At 12.30pm, the FBM KLCI gained 3.21 points to 1,806.23.

Gainers led losers by 345 to 294, while 317 counters traded unchanged. Volume was 827.34 million shares valued at RM753.93 million.

The top gainers included Kuala Lumpur Kepong Bhd, KESM Industries Bhd, SAM Engineering Bhd, Hartalega Holdings Bhd, Only World Group Holdings Bhd, Perak Corporation Bhd, Petronas Chemicals Group Bhd, MISC Bhd and Unisem (M) Bhd.

The top actives included Vsolar Group Bhd, Kanger International Bhd, Frontken Corporation Bhd, Nexgram Holdings Bhd, Wintoni Group Bhd and Hovid Bhd.

The decliners included Carlsberg Brewery (M) Holdings Bhd, British American Tobacco (M) Bhd, Petronas Dagangan Bhd, Oriental Food Industries Bhd, United Plantations Bhd, Mintye Industries Bhd and Hong Leong Financial Group Bhd.

The US dollar huddled near three-month lows on Thursday after poor retail data proved a huge disappointment to those expecting a strong American economic rebound from a weather-weakened first quarter, according to Reuters.

Investors reacted by pushing back the likely lift-off date for a rate hike by the Federal Reserve, giving gold a steer to five-week highs above $1,218 an ounce, it said.

Yet in a bizarre turn, German and US bond yields still surged to their highest in over five months as a vicious selloff extended to its 10th session, said Reuters.

BIMB Securities Research said Asian shares advanced yesterday as investors focused on hopes of a further stimulus from Beijing to prevent a sharper slowdown in the world's second-largest economy.

Locally, it said shares on Bursa Malaysia closed also higher, propped up by buying sentiment as traders took the opportunity of the market weakness amid expectation of a further monetary stimulus in China.

“The FBM KLCI rose 4.41 points to 1,803.02.

“We expect the index to trade range-bound with immediate support at 1,795 and immediate resistance at 1,826,” it said.