KLCI pares loss, tracks stalled regional markets

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KUALA LUMPUR (March 13): The FBM KLCI pared some of its losses at mid-morning but tracked the stalling regional markets.

At 10am, the FBM KLCI was down 1.00 point to 1,860.22. The index had earlier slipped to a low of 1,853.97.

Losers led gainers by 313 to 203, while 295 counters traded unchanged. Volume was 544.16 million shares valued at RM245.58 million.

The top losers included KESM Industries Bhd, Petron Malaysia Refining & Marketing Bhd, Carlsberg Brewery Malaysia Bhd, Hartalega Holdings Bhd, Cahya Mata Sarawak Bhd, ViTrox Corp Bhd, Malaysian Pacific Industries Bhd and KLCC Property Holdings Bhd.

The actives included QES Group Bhd, Nexgram Holdings Bhd, NWP Holdings Bhd, Sumatec Resources Bhd, Sapura Energy Bhd, Pintaras Jaya Bhd, Iris Corp Bhd and Zelan Bhd.

The gainers included Nestle (M) Bhd, Dutch Lady Milk Industries Bhd, Fraser & Neave Holdings Bhd, Ajinomoto (M) Bhd, Public Bank Bhd, Bermaz Auto Bhd, Top Glove Corp Bhd, Magni-Tech Industries Bhd, Kawan Food Bhd and Batu Kawan Bhd.

Asian stocks stalled on Tuesday, halting an earlier rally after Wall Street shares lost steam, while the dollar sagged on the back of declining U.S. yields, according to Reuters.

MSCI's broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan inched down 0.05 percent. The index had surged 1.5 percent on Monday following firm U.S. jobs numbers, while low wage growth eased concerns about inflation and faster central bank rate hikes, it said.

Hong Leong IB Research in a traders’ brief said in the US, investors could be focusing on few major events over the near term such as FOMC meeting (20-21 Mar), interview of potential candidate of Trump's new NEC advisor and fresh developments on US import tariffs.

Hence, the Dow could fluctuate within a tight range around 25,000, with the resistance envisaged around 25,500.

“Meanwhile, with the mild pullback on Wall Street, traders may take the opportunity to take profit after a strong rally yesterday.

“Also, steel producers on the local front may succumb to selling pressure, while market participants could turn slightly cautious on the broader market ahead of the dissolution of parliament and the upcoming GE14,” it said.