KLCI pares loss, but bears stay in control

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KUALA LUMPUR (July 27): The FBM KLCI pared some of its losses at the midday break today, but bears remained in control in line with the weaker sentiment at regional markets.

At 12.30pm, the FBM KLCI was down 2.54 points to 1,718.22. The index had earlier dipped to its intra-morning low of 1,710.97.

Losers lead gainers by 441 to 285, while 273 counters traded unchanged. Volume was 1.29 billion shares, valued at RM775.33 million.

Meanwhile, the ringgit was also traded lower against the US dollar and was quoted at 3.8140 per dollar.

The top losers included Bintulu Port Holdings Bhd, PPB Group Bhd, Dutch Lady Milk Industries Bhd, NCB Holdings Bhd, CIMB Group Holdings Bhd and Kuala Lumpur Kepong Bhd.

The actively-traded stocks included Ikhmas Jaya Group Bhd, The Media Shoppe Bhd, Frontken Corporation Bhd, AirAsia Bhd, APFT Bhd and Iris Corporation Bhd.

Meanwhile, the gainers included British American Tobacco (M) Bhd, Tahps Group Bhd, Ikhmas, Cahya Mata Sarawak Bhd, Top Glove Corporation Bhd and KESM Industries Bhd.

Asian shares began the week on a plaintive note, amid losses on Wall Street and worries over China, while investors braced for a Federal Reserve meeting that might take another small step toward lifting U.S. interest rates, according to Reuters.

Japan's Nikkei slipped 0.5 percent, while MSCI's broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan lost 0.8 percent, it said.

BIMB Securities Research said that in Asia, key indexes ended mostly lower last Friday (July 24) on previous close, dragged down by weak manufacturing activity in China and disappointing corporate earnings in the U.S.

Locally, it said the FBM KLCI ended flat, losing 1.68 points or 0.1% to 1,720.76, mainly due to weaker investor sentiment, resulting from overnight losses in U.S.

“Trading participation saw net selling by foreign institutions and local retail, while local institutions were net buyers.

“We expect the local market to remain weak in the near future, due to negative sentiment all over the world, with immediate support at 1,715, followed by the critical 1,700,” it said.