KLCI pares loss, market sentiment stays tepid

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KUALA LUMPUR (Dec 17): The FBM KLCI pared some its loss at mid-morning today but broader market sentiment remained tepid in line with the region.

At 10.10am, the FBM KLCI was down 3.28 points to 1,658.68. The index had earlier fallen to a low of 1,645.86.

Losers outpaced gainers by 444 to 81, while 243 counters traded unchanged. Volume was 434.79 million shares valued at RM198.09 million.

The losers included VS Industry Bhd, Genting Plantations Bhd, Petronas Dagangan Bhd, ViTrox Corp Bhd, Malaysian Pacific Industries Bhd, Hong Leong Financial Group Bhd, Aeon Credit Service (M) Bhd, Fraser & Neave Holdings Bhd, Padini Holdings Bhd and KESM Industries Bhd.

The actives included Bumi Armada Bhd, KNM Group Bhd, Sapura Enegry Bhd, VS Industry, Priceworth International Bhd, Hubline Bhd and Sanichi Technology Bhd.

The gainers included Petronas Gas Bhd, Nestle (M) Bhd, United Plantations Bhd, Petronas Chemicals Group Bhd, Kian Joo Can Factory Bhd, Hong Leong Industries Bhd, Asia File Corp Bhd, MyNews Holdings Bhd and PPB Group Bhd.

Asian share markets started the week on a cautious footing on Monday after weak economic data from China and Europe added to evidence of cooling global growth and reinforced anxiety over the impact of international trade frictions on business and profits, according to Reuters.

MSCI's broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan was little changed while Japan's Nikkei was up 0.1% in early trade. US stock futures were also almost flat, it said.

MIDF Amanah Investment Bank Bhd Research said while Malaysia's economy remains on good traction, the research house foresees geopolitical events casting a shadow on investors' sentiment on the equity market.

"Hence, MIDF Research has revised our year-end 2019 FBM KLCI baseline target to 1,830 points (from 1,900) which equates to PER18 of 16.2x," it said.