KLCI remains muted as blue chips drag

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KUALA LUMPUR (June 28): The FBM KLCI remained muted at mid-morning today, in tandem with the decline at most regional markets, dragged by index-linked blue chips.

At 10am, the FBM KLCI was down 1.05 points to 1,665.03.

Losers led gainers by 283 to 139, while 255 counters traded unchanged. Volume was 338.75 million shares valued at RM180.36 million.

The decliners included Carlsberg Brewery Malaysia Bhd, KESM Industries Bhd, Ajinomoto (M) Bhd, Nestle (M) Bhd, Tenaga Nasional Bhd, Public Bank Bhd, Scientex Bhd, Unisem (M) Bhd, LPI Capital Bhd and PLB Engineering Bhd.

The actives included SKH Consortium Bhd, Sapura Energy Bhd, Berjaya Corp Bhd and APFT Bhd.

The top gainers included British American Tobacco (M) Bhd, United Plantations Bhd, Petronas Gas Bhd, Fraser & Neave Holdings Bhd, Malayan Banking Bhd, Mi Equipment Holdings Bhd, RHB Bank Bhd, Sam Engineering & Equipment (M) Bhd, MCE Holdings Bhd and Time dotCom Bhd.

Asian stocks slumped to nine-month lows on Thursday on growing worries the US administration's approach to trade is harming global economic growth even as it appeared to be modifying its approach to curb Chinese investments in US technology firms, according to Reuters.

US oil prices hit a 3½-year high as plunging US crude stockpiles compounded supply worries in a market already uncertain about Libyan exports, a production disruption in Canada and Washington's demands that importers stop buying Iranian crude, it said.

MIDF Amanah Investment Bank Bhd Research in a strategy note today said while investors are waiting for the dust to settle as far as the government policies and actions are concerned, they should not forget the headwinds from the geopolitical events which are not just affecting the local market but also neighbouring countries and even developed nations (e.g. US-China trade war, US-North Korea plan to denuclearise the Korean peninsula).

"Hence we expect (the) [market] to be a bit quiet in the next few months as its trading value has already hit a record high twice in May, e.g. trading value of RM7.3 billion on May 14 (first day market open after GE14) and trading value of RM9.3 billion on May 31 (date of MSCI rebalancing).

"The sheer magnitude of the latter shows that there is still interest in our market as foreign investors, particularly ETF funds, switch stocks in light of stock exclusion and inclusions during rebalancing," it said.