KLCI pares gains as losers outpace gainers

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KUALA LUMPUR (Nov 30): The FBM KLCI pared some of its gains as local market sentiment turned tepid and losers overtook gainers.

At 10am, the FBM KLCI added 0.14 points to 1,696.48. The index had earlier risen to a high of 1,702.98.

Losers overtook gainers by 315 to 176, while 254 counters traded unchanged. Volume was 561.33 million shares valued at RM370.19 million.

The gainers included United Plantations Bhd, Nestle (M) Bhd, AirAsia Group Bhd, Petronas Gas Bhd, APM Automotive Holdings Bhd, Top Glove Corp Bhd, Petron Malaysia Refining & Marketing Bhd, RHB Bank Bhd and IHH Healthcare Bhd.

The actives included Hubline Bhd, My EG Services Bhd, Jaks Resources Bhd, Bumi Armada Bhd, Priceworth International Bhd, Daya Materials Bhd, Genting Malaysia Bhd, AirAsia and Sapura Energy Bhd.

The losers included Padini Holdings Bhd, Malaysian Pacific Industries Bhd, SAM Engineering & Equipment (M) Bhd, Aeon Credit Service (M) Bhd, QL Resources Bhd, Southern Steel Bhd, Hong Leong Industries Bhd, PPB Group Bhd and UEM Edgenta Bhd.

Asian stocks looked set to round out the month in mixed fashion as investors await a crucial meeting between the US and Chinese presidents with the course of the trade war at stake. Treasuries maintained gains and the dollar declined overnight, when US equities dipped, according to Bloomberg.

Shares edged higher in Tokyo and Seoul and futures indicated a higher start for shares in Hong Kong and Shanghai, while Australian shares slipped. The S&P 500's rally faded late in the day on Thursday. Doubts remain about prospects for Presidents Donald Trump and Xi Jinping to agree to a thaw in bilateral relations. Tech stocks dropped in the US, as did banks, as the 10-year Treasury yield held near its lowest since September. Minutes from the Federal Reserve's November policy meeting showed the central bank preparing for a more flexible path in 2019, it said.

Hong Leong IB Research in a traders' brief said it expects the US market to turn slightly cautious ahead of the Trump-Xi discussions in the upcoming G20 summit.

"Also, we believe the oil market will be slightly volatile prior to the OPEC meeting next week, which may affect the trading interest on energy shares. Meanwhile, investors will be watching closely [the] FOMC meeting next month to understand the outlook of interest rates.

"Tracking the softer tone on Wall Street, coupled with weak sentiment following the Genting-Disney dispute, we opine that the overall trading tone would remain subdued.

"Meanwhile, oil and gas stocks will still be [on] traders' radar as Brent oil price is hovering below US$60 (RM251.25) mark. Hence, the KLCI's upside is likely to be capped along the 1,700-1,730 level," the research house said.