KLCI pares gains as local sentiment stays nervy

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KUALA LUMPUR (Oct 29): The FBM KLCI pared some of its gains at mid-morning today as local sentiment remained nervy ahead of the tabling of Budget 2019 this Friday, and losers overtook gainers.

At 10.05am, the FBM KLCI was up 0.49 points to 1,683.55. The index had earlier risen to a high of 1,686.83.

Losers led gainers by 317 to 147, while 260 counters traded unchanged. Volume was 526.85 million shares valued at RM259.77 million.

The gainers included Allianz Malaysia Bhd, Fraser & Neave Holdings Bhd, United Plantations Bhd, Selangor Properties Bhd, Lingkaran Trans Kota Holdings Bhd, IJM Plantations Bhd, KESM Industries Bhd and IHH Healthcare Bhd.

The actives included Seacera Group Bhd, My EG Services Bhd, Pesona Metro Holdings Bhd, Tatt Giap Group Bhd, Orion IXL Bhd, Gamuda Bhd and Hibiscus Petroleum Bhd.

The decliners included Malaysian Pacific Industries Bhd, ViTrox Corp Bhd, Carlsberg Brewery Malaysia Bhd, Pentamaster Corp Bhd, Elsoft Research Bhd and Apollo Food Holdings Bhd.

Asian shares bounced from last week's steep declines on Monday, though sentiment remained fragile amid heightened worries about corporate earnings and a slowdown in global economic growth, according to Reuters.

Wider sentiment in markets has been hit by a range of negative factors from an intensifying China-US trade conflict to worries about US corporate earnings to Italian budget woes as well as Federal Reserve rate increases, it said.

Hong Leong IB Research in a traders' brief said although market participants have returned to stock markets yesterday, the research house believe it could be short lived as the worries on trade war dampening the global economic activities as well as the interest rate up-cycle environment could resurface in the upcoming months.

"Meanwhile, over the near term, Wall Street is likely to trend sideways ahead of the US midterm election.

"On the local bourse, sentiment may stay tepid following the recent selling pressure and investors may still wait for further clarity in Budget 2019 next week before expanding their exposure in stock markets.

"Hence, we think rebound would be short lived over the near term and upside should be capped near the 1,700," it said.