KLCI pares gains, poised to end week on positive note

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KUALA LUMPUR (Jan 17): The FBM KLCI pared some of its gains at mid-morning today, but looked poised to end the week higher in line with the advance at global markets.

At 10am, the FBM KLCI was up 2.7 points at 1,590.58. The index had earlier risen to a high of 1,594.06.

Gainers led losers by 267 to 215, while 366 counters traded unchanged. Volume was 697.31 million shares valued at RM334.05 million.

The gainers included Axiata Group Bhd, Carlsberg Brewery Malaysia Bhd, Kejuruteraan Asastera Bhd, Ajinomoto (M) Bhd, Syarikat Takaful Malaysia Keluarga Bhd, Lii Hen Industries Bhd, Dufu Technology Corp Bhd, Heineken Malaysia Bhd and JAKS Resources Bhd.

The actives included Vortex Consolidated Bhd, Sapura Energy Bhd, DGB Asia Bhd, I-Bhd, Hubline Bhd, JAKS, WCE Holdings Bhd, Ekovest Bhd and Icon Offshore Bhd.

The decliners included British American Tobacco (M) Bhd, Kuala Lumpur Kepong Bhd, Tenaga Nasional Bhd, Malayan Cement Bhd, Atlan Holdings Bhd, KESM Industries Bhd, G3 Global Bhd, Maxis Bhd and KKB Engineering Bhd.

Reuters said Asian shares inched higher on Friday after global stock indexes and Wall Street posted more records, with strong corporate earnings and upbeat US economic data adding to optimism after China and the US signed a partial trade deal.

But investors will be closely watching key Chinese economic data for clues on whether a marked slowdown in the world's second-largest economy is starting to bottom out, it said.

Hong Leong IB Research said in the US, the Dow's uptrend is fairly intact amid fading US-Iran geopolitical tensions and de-escalation of US-China trade tensions coupled with the Senate approval of a new trade deal between the US, and Mexico and Canada on Thursday.

It said barring any negative surprises from the ongoing start of the January reporting season (for 4Q19 results) this week, it remains optimistic the Dow will advance towards 29,500-30,000 territory in the next few weeks, with support set around 28,500-28,700 levels.

"We expect the bullish US record-breaking close to spill over on Bursa Malaysia, lifting the KLCI further towards our envisaged 1,600-1,613 zones.

"However, further rally could be capped in anticipation of a soft February reporting season, coupled with the local political noises.

"Nevertheless, traders could look into construction and technology stocks as volumes were building up over the past few trading days," it said.