KLCI pares gains in line with cautious regional markets

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KUALA LUMPUR (May 15): The FBM KLCI pared some of its gains at midday break today, in line with cautious regional markets.

At 12.30pm, the FBM KLCI was up 5.38 points to 1,855.80. The index had earlier risen to its intra-morning high of 1,859.83.

Losers led gainers by 361 to 307, while 583 counters traded unchanged. Volume was 2.26 billion shares valued at RM1.92 billion.

The top gainers included Nestle (M) Bhd, British American Tobacco (M) Bhd, Heineken Malaysia Bhd, Malaysia Airports Holdings Bhd, Hong Leong Bank Bhd, Fraser & Neave Holdings Bhd, Amway (M) Holdings Bhd, Maxis Bhd, PMB Techmnology Bhd and Westports Holdings Bhd.

Actives included Sapura Energy Bhd, Eduspec Holdings Bhd, Eden Inc Bhd, Berjaya Corp Bhd, Sumatec Resources Bhd, Opcom Holdings Bhd and Malaysian Resources Corp Bhd.

Losers included George Kent (M) Bhd, KESM Industries Bhd, My E.G. Services Bhd, Hengyuan Refining Company Bhd, Public Bank Bhd, Petron Malaysia Refining & Marketing Bhd and Lotte Chemical Titan Holding Bhd.

Asian stocks pulled back on Tuesday, brushing off a firmer Wall Street lead and pausing a recent rally, as investors remained cautious about key economic and political risks, while supply concerns kept crude oil prices near 3-1/2-year highs, according to Reuters.

MSCI's broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan dipped 0.65%, after rising the previous day to its highest since late March. The index had rallied for three straight sessions prior to Tuesday, Reuters said.

Affin Hwang Capital Research said in a note that regional markets were anticipated to open soft today, after staging about a week-long rally in an attempt to test their respective resistances, after being in consolidation mode for about 15 months now.

Global sentiments remain bullish with commodity prices inching up gradually, indicating positive improvements in global demands, ease of trade wars and subsided geo-political issues, the research house said.

Locally, stocks on Bursa Malaysia experienced a wild volatility on the first trading day with a new government yesterday, it added.

“Auspiciously, swift explanations and actions by the Prime Minister and key advisors throughout the day, had effectively managed various concerns of investors and hence [was] able to keep investors’ confidence at bay.

“Technically, market might experience a normal pullback in the near future.

“Nonetheless, as fundamentals of Malaysia and local corporates remain intact, it is best for investors to accumulate good quality stocks on price weakness,” Affin Hwang Capital Research said.