KUALA LUMPUR (Apr 3): The FBM KLCI notched up limited gains at the midday break today, amidst choppy trading.
At 12.30pm, the local index added 1.70 points to 1,833.67. The index had earlier dipped to its intra-morning low of 1,829.74.
Losers led gainers by 306 to 200, while 330 counters traded unchanged. Volume was 1.03 billion shares valued at RM553.99 million.
The top gainers included Cahya Mata Sarawak Bhd, DanaInfra Nasional Bhd, Telekom Malaysia Bhd, Rapid Synergy Holdings Bhd, Hong Leong Financial Group Bhd, LTKM Bhd, PIE Industrial Bhd, Opcom Holdings Bhd, Karex Bhd, Public Bank Bhd and Vitrox Corpotation Bhd.
The actives included Ingenco Consolidated Bhd, Genetec Technology Bhd, Systech Bhd, Nova MSC Bhd, Nexgram Holdings Bhd and Berjaya Corporation Bhd.
The top losers included British American Tobacco (M) Bhd, The Store Corporation Bhd, Pharmaniaga Holdings Bhd, Kossan Rubber Industries Bhd, IQ Group Bhd, Genting Malaysia Bhd and Super Enterprise Holdings Bhd.
The dollar stuck to its recent ranges in holiday-thinned trading on Friday and stocks edged up as investors awaited key U.S. employment figures for possible clues on when the Federal Reserve will hike interest rates, according to Reuters.
MSCI's broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan rose 0.2%, while Japan's Nikkei stock average was up 0.3%. Wall Street logged modest gains ahead of the holiday after two losing sessions, it said.
BIMB Securities Research said on earlier trading Thursday, Asian stocks rallied despite U.S. growth concerns mainly due to inflow of foreign funds.
It said the Nikkei posted its biggest daily gain since mid-February as investors refocused on hopes that BOJ and the country's pension funds will keep increasing their allocation to equities to boost their returns. Hong Kong and China also ended higher, thanks to bargain hunting near late session.
"Locally, the FBM KLCI ended higher, in line with its regional peers, gaining 5.66 points or 0.31% to 1,831.97, lifted mainly by gaming counters.
"Trading participation saw net buying by local institutions while foreign institutions and local retail were net sellers.
"We reckon the local market to continue its momentum with the returning foreign funds into the region and expect to see immediate resistance at 1,835/40," it said.