KLCI pares gains, stays positive in line with region

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KUALA LUMPUR (Jan 11): The FBM KLCI pared some of its gains at mid-morning today, but remained in positive zone in line with its regional peers.

At 10.05am, the FBM KLCI was up 1.6 points to 1,680.48. The index had earlier risen to a high of 1,684.99.

Gainers led losers by 352 to 191, while 247 counters traded unchanged. Volume was 876.32 million shares valued at RM375.52 million.

The gainers included Nestle (M) Bhd, British American Tobacco (M) Bhd, KESM Industries Bhd, SAM Engineering & Equipment (M) Bhd, Malaysian Pacific Industries Bhd, Top Glove Corp Bhd, MISC Bhd, Sarawak Oil Palms Bhd and Cahya Mata Sarawak Bhd.

The actives included FGV Holdings Bhd, Bumi Armada Bhd, Sapura Energy Bhd, Sino Hua-An International Bhd and JAG Bhd.

The decliners included Dutch Lady Milk Industries Bhd, United Plantations Bhd, Petronas Chemicals Group Bhd, Fraser & Neave Holdings Bhd, Malaysia Airports Holdings Bhd, Scientex Bhd, Time Dotcom Bhd and Public Bank Bhd.

Asian stocks inched higher to one-month highs on Friday, after Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell reiterated the US central bank can be patient on raising interest rates further, according to Reuters.

But the rally's momentum slowed partly as investors sought more clarity on whether the United States and China could make headway on their talks on trade as well as intellectual property rights. US President Donald Trump had earlier on Thursday said Washington was having "tremendous success" in its trade negotiations with China, the newswire said.

Hong Leong IB Research said in the US, the current rebound in stock markets could be due for a pullback on the back of potential weakness in the upcoming reporting season, which will be starting next week.

"Also, market participants could be eyeing the trade developments between the US [and] China before the deadline in early March. Should there be any negative surprises from the trade front, we opine that Wall Street may retrace with heighten volatility moving forward.

"While we expect positive sentiment to spill over towards Malaysia's equities, profit-taking activities are likely to emerge on the broader market after the recent relief rebound on bashed down stocks within the technology and construction sectors.

"Nevertheless, traders may continue to look out for opportunities within the oil and gas sector amid healthy recovery in Brent oil prices," the research house said.