KLCI pulls back 0.37% in line with regional retreat

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KUALA LUMPUR (March 11): The FBM KLCI pulled back 0.37% at mid-morning Monday, in line with the retreat at most regional markets.

At 10am, the FBM KLCI fell 6.19 points to 1,673.99.

Losers led gainers by 333 to 209, while 275 counters traded unchanged. Volume was 716.30 million shares valued at RM429.61 million.

The top losers included Hartalega Holdings Bhd, PPB Group Bhd, Top Glove Corp Bhd, Ajinomoto (M) Bhd, Imaspro Corp Bhd, Uchi Technologies Bhd, Malaysian Pacific Industries Bhd and Malaysia Airports Holdings Bhd.

The actives included Iskandar Waterfront City Bhd (IWC), Dayang Enterprise Holdings Bhd, IFCA MSC Bhd, Econpile Holdings Bhd, Seacera Group Bhd and George Kent (M) Bhd.

The gainers included Dutch Lady Milk Industries Bhd, British American Tobacco (M) Bhd, Cahya Mata Sarawak Bhd, Carlsberg Brewery Malaysia Bhd, Dayang, Westports Holdings Bhd, IWC and Crest Builder Holdings Bhd.

Asian shares pulled back on Monday after US employment data raised doubts about the strength of the global economy while investor jitters ahead of crucial Brexit votes in the UK parliament this week weighed on the pound, according to Reuters.

MSCI's broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan was little changed from Friday's three-week low. Japan's Nikkei gained 0.4% in early trade after four consecutive sessions in the red last week, it said.

Hong Leong IB Research said that in the US, an extended consolidation is likely to prevail to recalibrate overly optimistic expectations as sentiment would remain edgy following recent poor economic data from the US, China and the Eurozone.

"Meanwhile, uncertainty lingered over a US-China trade negotiation although (US President Donald) Trump's advisors said on Sunday that the US-China talks are making 'Headway,' and Trump and (China President) Xi (Jinping) would meet to ink a deal probably by end March or April.

"Key resistances are 25,700/26,000/26,300 while supports fall on 25,100/25,000/24,500 levels," it said.

On the FBM KLCI, it said the disappointing economic data from Europe and China last week coupled with a 2.2% weekly fall on Dow are likely to cement a negative trend for financial markets in the near term, with major focus remaining on whether Trump and Xi are able to finalise the trade deal by end-March.

"On the local bourse, as blue chips consolidate, the renewed trading focus on the building materials and construction sector is likely to prevail on hopes for revision in government contracts after a severe correction on both sectors after GE14.

"Key resistances are 1,692/1,700/1,707 while supports fall on 1,670/1,666/1,650 levels," it said.