KLCI pares loss as region remains weaker

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KUALA LUMPUR (Oct 9): The FBM KLCI pared some of its losses at the midday break today, against a backdrop of weaker regional markets.

At 12.30pm, the FBM KLCI was down 0.29 points to 1,775.46. The index had earlier slipped to its intra-morning low of 1,772.51.

Losers edged gainers by 344 to 339, while 1,191 counters traded unchanged. Volume was 1.03 billion shares valued at RM652.85 million.

The losers included Panasonic Manufacturing Malaysia Bhd, Oriental Interest Bhd, Enra Group Bhd, Kuala Lumpur Kepong Bhd, Aeon Credit Service (M) Bhd, KESM Industries Bhd, Rapid Synergy Bhd, Genting Plantations Bhd and DiGi.Com Bhd.

The actives included Sapura Energy Bhd, Gamuda Bhd, Hibiscus Petroleum Bhd, Reach Energy Bhd, Iris Corp Bhd and Borneo Oil Bhd.

The gainers included United Plantations Bhd, British American Tobacco (M) Bhd, Fraser & Neave Holdings Bhd, Hong Leong Financial Group Bhd, Lafarge Malaysia Bhd, Tong Herr Resources Bhd and Axiata Group Bhd.

Asian shares hit 17-month lows on Tuesday as China allowed its currency to slip past a psychological bulwark amid sharp losses in domestic share markets, a shift that pressured other emerging currencies to depreciate to stay competitive, according to Reuters.

The IMF added to the malaise by cutting forecasts of global growth for both this year and next, including downgrades to the outlook for the United States, China and Europe, it said.

CIMB Retail Research said the local bourse remained sluggish yesterday, mainly due to losses in the construction and energy sectors.

"The construction sector tumbled 10% across the board after government terminated MRT2's underground scope.

"On the external headwinds, regional markets dipped on Tuesday after China central bank cut the reserve requirement for banks.

"Today, all eyes are on the Malaysia: A New Dawn conference (a potential precursor to the Budget 2019), which may instil some confidence in the management of economy, in our opinion.

"From the technical perspective, we think that market may stage a mild technical rebound today on bargain-hunting activities, with an immediate resistance of 1,780.

"Resistance: 1,785 & 1,800. Supports: 1,760 & 1,750," it said.