KLCI pares gains, up 0.12%

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KUALA LUMPUR (Feb 26): The FBM KLCI pared some of its gains at mid-morning today as regional markets rose cautiously.

At 10am, the FBM KLCI was up 2.19 points to 1,863.69. The index had earlier risen to a high of 1,867.98.

Gainers led losers by 359 to 244, while 338 counters traded unchanged.

Volume was 858.03 million shares valued at RM386.22 million.

The gainers included Dutch Lady Milk Industries Bhd, United Plantations Bhd, Hengyuan Refining Co Bhd, Scientex Bhd, Carlsberg Brewery Malaysia Bhd, Kobay Technology Bhd, Petronas Dagangan Bhd, Petron Malaysia Refining & Marketing Bhd and Petronas Gas Bhd.

The actives included Sumatec Resources Bhd, PUC Bhd, AirAsia X Bhd, Sino Hua-An International Bhd, Green Packet Bhd and DGB Asia Bhd.

The decliners included KESM Industries Bhd, Heineken Malaysia Bhd, Hap Seng Plantations Holdings Bhd, Tasek Corp Bhd, Pintaras Jaya Bhd and Nestle (M) Bhd.

Asian markets were in a guardedly upbeat mood on Monday, heading into an event-packed week headlined by US inflation data and the first House testimony by the new head of the Federal Reserve, according to Reuters.

A modest improvement in risk appetite saw the safe-haven yen lost ground, while MSCI's broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan firmed 0.3%, it said.

Hong Leong IB Research in a traders' brief said with investors reassessing the possibility of higher interest rate environment, Wall Street may sustain its upward move.

"However, traders may focus on the FOMC meeting that will be held on March 20-21, which may provide further guidance towards the economic activity and the interest rates situation.

"On the local front, with the positive performance on the overnight Wall Street, we think the KLCI may revisit 1,870-1,880 on the back of firmer Brent oil (two-week high).

"Also, the ongoing reporting season will be the main focus this week," it said.