KUALA LUMPUR (March 29): The FBM KLCI pared some of its gains at mid-morning today, tracking its regional peers.
Despite hovering in positive territory on the final trading day of the first quarter of 2019 (1Q19), the local index had year-to-date lost some 44 points.
At 10am, the FBM KLCI was up 5.24 points to 1,646.57. The index had earlier risen to a high of 1,649.28.
Gainers led losers by 256 to 181, while 277 counters traded unchanged. Volume was 512.09 million shares valued at RM259.16 million.
The gainers included Nestle (M) Bhd, Carlsberg Brewery Malaysia Bhd, British American Tobacco (M) Bhd, Fraser & Neave Holdings Bhd, Hong Leong Financial Group Bhd, Petronas Dagangan Bhd, Kuala Lumpur Kepong Bhd, Hong Leong Bank Bhd and MISC Bhd.
The actives included Sino Hua-An International Bhd, Frontken Corp Bhd, My EG Services Bhd, Inix Technologies Holdings Bhd, Dayang Enterprise Holdings Bhd and Seacera Group Bhd.
The decliners included Malaysia Airports Holdings Bhd, FACB Industries Incorporated Bhd, Public Bank Bhd, Teck Guan Perdana Bhd, Muhibbah Engineering (M) Bhd, Texchem Resources Bhd and YNH Property Bhd.
Asian shares posted narrow gains on Friday on revived hopes of progress in US-China trade talks, while global bond yields moved higher after a prolonged slide on worries about the economic outlook, according to Reuters.
MSCI's broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan edged up 0.1% while Japan's Nikkei rose 1.0%, it said.
Hong Leong IB Research said in the US, the negative sentiment could persist with traders monitoring the situation of a possible US recession.
"Nevertheless, the Dow is likely to be supported near 200D SMA (200-day simple moving average) as investors take comfort from the recent Fed's ultra-dovish stance.
"Beside[s], positive expectations that the Trump administration would likely to quickly resolve the tariff issues with China to kick start the US economy prior to the Presidential election in Nov 2020. Key resistances are 26,000/26,300.
"At the FBM KLCI, cautious sentiment prevails as investors continue to digest on key headlines on the US recession fears and potential downside risks to our economy mainly from the unresolved trade tension, slower-than-expected global growth and uncertain monetary policy normalisation.
"Nevertheless, tracking the overnight Dow's rebound and a potential end 1Q19 window-dressing activities, traders may selectively look out for bashed-down banking stocks (such as CIMB/Maybank/Public Bank/ABMB (Alliance Bank)) for technical rebound plays," it said.