KLCI pares gains, hovers above 1,800 level

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KUALA LUMPUR (Mar 23): The FBM KLCI pared some of its gains at the midday break today but managed to hover above the crucial 1,800-point level at the midday break.

At 12.30pm, the local index was up 1.70 points to 1,805.35. The index had earlier risen to its intra-morning high of 1,811.08.

Gainers edged losers by 351 to 314, while 302 counters traded unchanged. Volume was 1.13 billion shares valued at RM679.47 million.

The top gainers included Hunza Properties Bhd, Kuala Lumpur Kepong Bhd, Petronas Chemicals Group Bhd, Petronas Dagangan Bhd, Opcom Holdings Bhd, Globetronics Technology Bhd, LPI Capital Bhd, Malaysian Pacific Industries Bhd, RHB Capital Bhd and Parkson Group Holdings Bhd.

The actively traded stocks included Privasia Technology Bhd, Talam Transform Bhd, Eti Tech Corporation Bhd, Jadi Imaging Holdings Bhd, Globaltec Formation Bhd, Nexgram Holdings Bhd and Sumatec Resources Bhd.

The decliners included Hong Leong Capital Bhd, Nestle (M) Bhd, British American Tobacco (M) Bhd, QL Resources Bhd, Tenaga Nasional Bhd, Public Bank Bhd and Hong Leong Financial Group Bhd.

Asian shares started the week on a strong note on Monday after a weaker U.S. dollar helped fuel solid gains on Wall Street, according to Reuters.

The greenback took back a bit of lost ground in Asian trading, with the dollar index edging up about 0.1% to 98.024, moving well away from last week's low of 96.628, it said.

BIMB Securities Research said key regional indexes ended mixed with last Friday Japan's Nikkei share average hitting a fresh 15-year high while Hong Kong closed lower following a negative lead from the U.S. overnight. Locally, it said the FBM KLCI ended lower, losing 5.48 points or 0.30% to 1,803.65, dragged down by banking and plantation counters.

The research house said trading participation saw net selling by local retail and institutions while foreign institutions were net buyers.

“We expect the local market to trend positive today as foreign funds shall remain in this region following US Fed’s interest rate decision with immediate resistance at 1,810,” it said.