KLCI pares gains but stays up 0.44% in line with region

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KUALA LUMPUR (Jan 31): The FBM KLCI pared some of its gains at mid-morning today and was up 0.44%, but local sentiment stayed up in line with the regional markets.

At 10am, the FBM KLCI was up 7.52 points to 1,691.63. The index had earlier risen to a high of 1,695.40.

Gainers led losers by 273 to 176, while 255 counters traded unchanged. Volume was 596.15 million shares valued at RM282.19 million.

The gainers included Nestle (M) Bhd, KESM Industries Bhd, Kuala Lumpur Kepong Bhd, Genting Plantations Bhd, Hong Leong Financial Group Bhd, Amway (M) Holdings Bhd, Aeon Credit Service (M) Bhd, PPB Group Bhd and LPI Capital Bhd.

The top losers included United Plantations Bhd, Carlsberg Brewery Malaysia Bhd, Rapid Synergy Bhd, Petron Malaysia Refining & Marketing Bhd, Lingkaran Trans Kota Holdings Bhd and Malaysia-listed Hang Seng Index-linked put warrants.

The actives included Sapura Energy Bhd, Bumi Armada Bhd, JAG Bhd, Tiger Synergy Bhd, Seacera Group Bhd and Permaju Industries Bhd.

Asia stocks rose to a four-month high on Thursday, tracking Wall Street, after the US Federal Reserve (Fed) pledged to be patient with further interest rate hikes, signalling a potential end to its tightening cycle amid signs of slowing global growth, according to Reuters.

The US dollar struggled near a three-week trough against its major peers and US Treasury yields were significantly lower as investors reacted to the Fed's change in tone, it said.

Hong Leong IB Research said with Apple and Boeing showing healthy results, it anticipates further upside on Wall Street at least for the near term.

"However, market participants are likely to stay mildly cautious ahead of the high level trade talks between the US and China that will conclude later today. The Dow has surged above 25,000, next resistance will be located around 25,500.

"Positive sentiment across the globe could spill over towards local bourse, especially technology stocks following the release of Apple's results.

"Besides, the oil & gas sector is likely to remain actively traded with the firmer Brent oil prices above US$60 (RM245.58). The FBM KLCI could retest 1,700 level over the near term," it said.