KLCI remains muted to new Cabinet line-up, stays below 1,700 level

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KUALA LUMPUR (July 29): The announcement of a revised Cabinet line-up by Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak did not appear to cheer investors as the benchmark FBM KLCI remained below the 1,700-point level at the midday break today.

At 12.30pm, the FBM KLCI was down 0.65 points to 1,699.05.

Losers overtook gainers by 339 to 323, while 318 counters traded unchanged. Volume was 679.50 million shares valued at RM717.35 million.

The top losers included Tenaga Nasional Bhd, Shell Refining Company (Federation of Malaya) Bhd, Sime Darby Bhd, Sasbadi Holdings Bhd, Oriental Food Industries Bhd, Karex Bhd, Lii Hen Industries Bhd and CIMB Group Holdings Bhd.

The actively traded stocks included Pesona Metro Holdings Bhd, APFT Bhd, Metronic Holdings Bhd, Ikhmas Jaya Group Bhd, Sunway Construction Group Bhd, Frontken Corporation Bhd, BTM Resources  Bhd and SKP Resources Bhd.

The gainers, meanwhile, included Latitude Tree Holdings Bhd, Malaysian Pacific Industries Bhd, Dutch Lady Milk Industries Bhd, Westports Holdings Bhd, Kuala Lumpur Kepong Bhd, Fraser & Neave Holdings Bhd, UEM Edgenta Bhd and Lafarge Malaysia Bhd.

Asian shares were mostly higher on Wednesday on hopes that Beijing could stem the rout in its markets without damage to the economy, though caution was the watchword ahead of a policy decision from the U.S. Federal Reserve, according to Reuters.

The CSI300 index of the largest listed companies in Shanghai and Shenzhen gained 0.6% in choppy morning trade, while the Shanghai Composite rose 0.7%, it said.

AffinHwang Capital IB Research said that going forward, it expects the FBM KLCI index to continue its downtrend due to softer ringgit, a dip in commodity price, a lack of catalyst on post Hari Raya blues and a possible hike in Federal Reserve rates.

“We note that local stocks continued to be trapped within 1,740-1,680 range (since the last six weeks) and has struggled for traction as participants digested a heavy calendar of second quarter corporate earnings,” it said.