KLCI pares gains, retreats below 1,600 level

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KUALA LUMPUR (Sept 9): The FBM KLCI pared some of its gains and retreated to below the psychologically crucial 1,600-point level at the midday break today.

At 12.30pm, the benchmark index was up 0.75% or 11.99 points to 1,599.11. It had earlier risen to its intra-morning high of 1,603.73.

Gainers led losers by 493 to 236, while 260 counters traded unchanged. Volume was 1.30 billion shares, valued at RM962.62 million.

The top gainers included British American Tobacco (M) Bhd, Allianz (M) Bhd, Kuala Lumpur Kepong Bhd, Far East Corporation Bhd, Lii Hen Industries Bhd, MISC Bhd, Tasek Corporation Bhd, Sientex Bhd and Public Bank Bhd.

The actively-traded stocks included The Media Shoppe Bhd, AirAsia Bhd, IFCA MSC Bhd, Frontken Corporation Bhd, APFT Bhd, KNM Group Bhd and Tiger Synergy Bhd.

The decliners included Shang-ri La Hotels (Malaysia) Bhd, SCC Holdings Bhd, Guiness Anchor Bhd, PLB Engineering Bhd and Knusford Bhd.

Asian shares caught a tailwind on Wednesday, after upbeat German economic data powered gains in U.S. and European markets; while the safe-haven yen skidded as investors' mood turned positive, according to Reuters.

MSCI's broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan was up 2.5% by 0250 GMT, with gains across all the major indices that were open, it said.

BIMB Securities Research said in Asia, key indexes ended mostly higher yesterday (Sept 8), following strong gains in Hong Kong and China; while Japan closed sharply lower.

It said back home, the local market closed higher on bargain hunting, with the FBM KLCI gaining 4.27 points or 0.27% to 1,587.12, lifted mainly by banking and telco stocks. Trading participation saw net buying by local institutions and retail, while foreign institutions were net sellers. We expect the index to re-test the 1,600 level, following positive sentiment around the world; while hoping for more stimulus measures in China.