KLCI pares gains in line with shaky regional markets

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KUALA LUMPUR (July 4): The FBM KLCI pared some of its gains at mid-morning today in line with the shaky regional markets, as mounting worries of an escalating U.S.-China trade spat kept global investors on tenterhooks.

At 10am, the FBM KLCI was up 1.06 points to 1,681.43. The index had earlier risen to a high of 1,685.24.

Losers overtook gainers by 236 to 180, while 290 counters traded unchanged. Volume was 456.47 million shares valued at RM262.14 million.

The gainers included British American Tobacco (M) Bhd, Panasonic Manufacturing Malaysia Bhd, Telekom Malaysia Bhd, Kuala Lumpur Kepong Bhd, Tien Wah Press Holdings Bhd, Aeon Credit Service (M) Bhd, Visdynamics Holdings Bhd, QL Resources Bhd and Taliworks Corp Bhd.

The actives included Nova MSC Bhd, My E.G. Services Bhd, Sapura Energy Bhd, Telekom Malaysia Bhd, RGB International Bhd and Lion Industries Corp Bhd.

The decliners included Nestle (M) Bhd, Heineken Malaysia Bhd, PPB Group Bhd, Allianz Malaysia Bhd, Malaysian Pacific Industries Bhd and PLB Engineering Bhd.

Asian stocks were on shaky ground on Wednesday while the Chinese yuan stood near 11-month lows as the spectre of a Sino-U.S. trade war haunted investors ahead of an end-of-week deadline for U.S. tariffs on billions of dollars worth of Chinese imports, according to Reuters.

MSCI's broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan edged up 0.1 percent in early trade, a day after it hit a nine-month low. Japan's Nikkei lost 0.5 percent, it said.

Hong Leong IB Research in a traders’ brief said in the US, market sentiment remains shaky ahead of Friday, where President Donald Trump’s administration will be imposing tariffs on US$34 billion Chinese goods and it could attract further escalation of trade spats between US and China.

‘Also, its trading partners may retaliate with similar measures that may dampen the global growth eventually. Hence, the Dow is likely to extend its consolidation phase.

“We believe investors will remain prudent with the uncertain trade environment, coupled with the outflow of foreign funds without any recovering signs.

“Hence, the FBM KLCI could trend sideways over the near term with upside limited around 1,700-1,725. Nevertheless, oil and gas stocks are likely to trade actively on the back of recovering Brent oil prices,” it said.