KLCI pares loss, select blue chips weigh

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KUALA LUMPUR (Jan 12): The FBM KLCI pared some of its loss at the midday break on Monday, against the backdrop of mixed regional markets.

At 12.30pm, the FBM KLCI was down 5.30 points to 1,727.14. The index had earlier dipped to its intra-morning low of 1,718.76.

Market breadth was negative with 308 losers and 261 gainers, while 260 counters traded unchanged. Volume was 656.99 million shares valued at RM550.16 million.

The top losers included Petronas Gas Bhd, PPB Group Bhd, Malaysia Building Society Bhd, Manulife Holdings Bhd, Petronas Dagangan Bhd, Oriental Holdings Bhd, Syarikat Takalful Malaysia Bhd and Ibraco Bhd.

The actively traded counters included Hubline Bhd, IFCA MSC Bhd, Minetech Resources Bhd, KNM Group Bhd, Sumatec Resources Bhd, Tiger Synergy Bhd and Bumi Armada Bhd.

The top gainers were Tahps Group Bhd, British American Tobacco (M) Bhd, Perak Corporation Bhd, Amway (Malaysia) Holdings Bhd, Batu Kawan Bhd, Kuala Lumpur Kepong Bhd, VS Industry Bhd, Eastern & Oriental Holdings Bhd, Favelle Favco Bhd and MISC Bhd.

The U.S. dollar took a dip on Monday as Asian investors caught up with a benign payrolls report and the subsequent slide in Treasury yields, though turnover was light with Tokyo on holiday, according to Reuters.

Share markets were mixed following a soft finish on Wall Street though sentiment was supported by speculation the Federal Reserve would be patient in tightening policy given the weakness of wages apparent in the jobs numbers, it said.

M & A Securities research head Rosnani Rasul said Wall Street ended lower last Friday, injured by lack of visibility on Eurozone new quantitative easing (QE) measures and weaker US unemployment figure.

The S&P 500 and DJIA lost 17.33 (-0.84%) and 170.50 (-0.95%) points to end at 2.044.81 and 17,737.37 respectively.

Rosnani said the European Central Bank (ECB) was reportedly unsure of the format of its 4th QE, something she had predicted in her 2015 strategy.

She said this had dented trading spirit since ECB’s latest QE was badly needed in order to avert deflation.

"With the ECB relatively occupied with the possibility of Greece opting out of the EU, we think the prospect of fresh new QE is quite a distant away," she said.

Rosnani said the period to Greece’s snap poll on 25th January would be a crucial, as the election outcome would determine Greece membership or otherwise in the EU.

“The global equity market will be holding their breath as catastrophic impact may ensue with the latter.

“As for this week, we don’t foresee much risk-taking in the pipeline as lack of catalyst will continue to hamper risk tolerance.

“The market may stay sideways but with downside risks,” she said.