KLCI pares gains as investor sentiment turns cautious

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KUALA LUMPUR (Nov 19): The FBM KLCI pared some of its gains at mid-morning today as investor sentiment turned cautious at the local bourse.

At 10am, the FBM KLCI was up 0.16 points to 1,706.54. The index had earlier risen to a high of 1,712.97.

Losers led gainers by 246 to 209, while 250 counters traded unchanged. Volume was 400.07 million shares valued at RM220.86 million.

The gainers included Nestle (M) Bhd, United Plantations Bhd, Petronas Dagangan Bhd, Malaysian Pacific Industries Bhd, Petron Malaysia Refining & Marketing Bhd, Kossan Rubber Industries Bhd, Apex Healthcare Bhd, ViTrox Corp Bhd, JHM Consolidation Bhd and Cahya Mata Sarawak Bhd.

The actives included Key Alliance Group Bhd, Orion IXL Bhd, Tatt Giap Group Bhd, My EG Services Bhd, Seacera Group Bhd and Matang Bhd.

The losers included Shangri-La Hotels (M) Bhd, Malaysia Airports Holdings Bhd, Telekom Malaysia Bhd, QL Resources Bhd, Carlsberg Brewery Malaysia Bhd and Tenaga Nasional Bhd.

Asian shares inched cautiously higher on Monday amid conflicting signals on the chance of a truce in the Sino-US trade dispute, while a new-found air of concern on the global outlook at the Federal Reserve undermined the US dollar, according to Reuters.

MSCI's broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan tacked on 0.1% and South Korea 0.5%. Japan's Nikkei gained 0.4%, but E-Mini futures for the S&P 500 slipped 0.3%, it said.

Hong Leong IB Research in a traders' brief said that as both the US and China prepare for the trade discussion in the upcoming G20 summit, investors may anticipate the market volatility to remain over the near term.

Should there be any negative surprises from the summit, it could impact global stock markets towards the downside. Traders will also be monitoring the Federal Open Market Committee meeting on Dec 17-18. Meanwhile, Donald Trump commented that the US is likely to go ahead with the increase of tariffs on China products in January 2019.

"On the local front, sentiment may stay positive, tracking Wall Street overnight.

"However, with the ongoing reporting season, volatility may increase throughout this period and local equities could have downside risk if corporate earnings are weaker than expected. Meanwhile, traders could focus on export-oriented (companies) as the ringgit continues to trend weaker last week," it said.

Meanwhile, foreign selling of Malaysian equity on Bursa Malaysia rose to RM417.3 million last week from RM182.9 million the prior week, according to MIDF Amanah Investment Bank Bhd Research.

In his weekly fund flow report today, MIDF Research's Adam M Rahim said the first three days of the week saw a gradual increase in the amount withdrawn by international funds