KLCI pares loss, but overall sentiment remains wary

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KUALA LUMPUR (June 18): The FBM KLCI pared some of its loss at the midday break today, but remained in negative zone as overall investor sentiment stayed wary due to lack of fresh catalysts.

At 12.30pm, the FBM KLCI was down 2.40 points to 1,724.46. The index had earlier slipped to its intra-morning low of 1,722.59.

Gainers led losers by 329 to 279, while 291 counters traded unchanged. Volume was 718.91 million shares valued at RM675.25 million.

The top losers included MISC Bhd, Genting Plantations Bhd, Genting Bhd, Boustead Heavy Industries Corporation Bhd, Guinness Anchor Bhd, UMW Holdings Bhd, 7-Eleven Malaysia Holdings Bhd, Shang-ri La Hotels (Malaysia) Bhd and Grand Hoover Bhd.

The actives included AirAsia Bhd, AirAsia X Bhd, Nexgram Holdings Bhd, APFT Bhd, Bintai Kinden Holdings Bhd, Minetec Resources Bhd, Frontken Corporation Bhd and IFCA MSC Bhd.

The top gainers included British Ametrican Tobacco (M) Bhd, Top Glove Corporation Bhd, United Plantations Bhd, Super Enterprise Holdings Bhd, Carlsberg Brewery (M) Holdings Bhd, PPB Group Bhd, LTKM Bhd, NCB Holdings Bhd and Kawan Food Bhd.

Asian equities firmed on Thursday and the dollar was on the defensive after the Federal Reserve indicated that interest rates would rise more slowly than markets had expected, according to Reuters.

After a closely-watched two-day meeting, the Fed said the economy was likely strong enough to support an interest rate increase by the end of the year. But it lowered its forecasts for 2015 economic growth because of a weak start to the year and reduced its federal funds rate forecast, it said.

BIMB Securities Research said that regionally, key indexes closed mostly higher yesterday with sharp increase in Shanghai and Hong Kong as investors believed that the Fed will not accelerate its rate-raising timeline.

Locally, it said the FBM KLCI ended higher, gaining 4.62 points to 1,726.86, lifted mainly by telco and banking stocks.

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

“We expect the local market to trend sideways as investors will remain cautious ahead of regional economic data with the index hovering around 1,725–30,” it said.