KLCI pares gains but stays above 1,800 level

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KUALA LUMPUR (March 3): The FBM KLCI pared some of its gains at mid-morning on Tuesday as research houses generally across the board said in separate notes that corporate earnings in the fourth quarter of 2014 were uninspiring.

At 10.01am, the FBM KLCI was up 2.84 points to 1,819.97. The index had earlier risen to a high of 1,821.31.

The top gainers included Amway (M) Holdings Bhd, The Nomad Group Bhd, Warisan TC Holdings Bhd, Tasek Corporation Bhd, C.I. Holdings Bhd, Pharmaniaga Holdings Bhd, My E.G. Services Bhd and United Plantations Bhd.

The actives included Privasia Technology Bhd, Wintoni Group Resources Bhd, Nova MSC Bhd, Globaltec Techmnologies Bhd, Perisai Petroleum Teknologi Bhd and Fajar Baru Holdings Bhd.

The top losers included British American Tobacco (M) Bhd, Petronas Dagangan Bhd, Malaysia Airports Holdings Bhd, UMW Holdings Bhd, Boustead Heavy Industries Corporation Bhd, Ta Ann Holdings Bhd, Kuala Lumpur Kepong Bhd, Lafarge Malaysia Bhd and IJM Land Holdings Bhd.

At the global markets, the U.S. dollar hovered close to an 11-year high against a basket of currencies while Asian shares firmed in early trade on Tuesday, with sentiment bolstered by another record day on Wall Street, according to Reuters.

MSCI's broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan was nearly flat, while Japan's Nikkei stock average was up about 0.4 percent after the yen pushed to three-week lows against the greenback, it said.

AffinHwang Capital Research has downgraded the FBM KLCI to Neutral (from Overweigh) and said that not unexpectedly, the 4Q14 report card showed another disappointing quarter, but the number of disappointments fell versus 3Q14.

In a note Tuesday, the research house said with the FBM KLCI recording a 0.2% earnings contraction for 2014, it was lowering its 2015E earnings growth by 4 percentage points to 4%.

“We retain our end-2015 KLCI target of 1,820.

“We expect the market to be range-bound with a negative bias, as sentiment remains weak due to macroeconomic concerns,” it said.