KLCI remains in negative zone as regional markets stay mixed

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KUALA LUMPUR (April 5): The FBM KLCI remained in negative territory at mid-morning today, weighed by select blue chips against the backdrop of mixed regional markets.

At 10am, the FBM KLCI was down 1.10 points to 1,643.97.

Gainers led losers by 234 to 200, while 312 counters traded unchanged. Volume was 843.98 million shares valued at RM255.08 million.

The top losers included KESM Industries Bhd, Mentiga Corp Bhd, British American Tobacco (M) Bhd, Tong Herr Resources Bhd, RHB Bank Bhd, Genting Malaysia Bhd, Rapid Synergy Bhd, Genetec Technology Bhd and Analabs Resources Bhd.

The actives included Scomi Group Bhd, Priceworth International Bhd, EA Holdings Bhd, Borneo Oil Bhd, KNM Group Bhd, Scomi Energy Services Bhd, Sapura Energy Bhd and Bumi Armada Bhd.

The gainers included Hengyuan Refining Company Bhd, Bintulu Port Holdings Bhd, Petron Malaysia Refining & Marketing Bhd, Syarikat Takaful Malaysia Keluarga Bhd, Aeon Credit Service (M) Bhd, Dufu Technology Corp Bhd, Sime Darby Plantation Bhd, Scomi Group and WCE Holdings Bhd.

Japanese shares and American equity futures edged up alongside Treasury yields following remarks out of both the US and China that progress is being made in trade talks. Asian trading volumes were muted, with China and Hong Kong shut for a holiday, according to Bloomberg.

S&P 500 futures ticked up as China President Xi Jinping called for an early conclusion to negotiations, helping yields on benchmark Treasuries touch a two-week high. Stock futures traded higher on the FTSE China A50 Index. Earlier, the S&P 500 Index posted a modest gain as US President Donald Trump said a deal to end the trade war isn't yet ready but an agreement may be "monumental" in the end. The dollar was little changed ahead of Friday's US jobs report, it said.

Hong Leong IB Research said that in the US, the upward move could persist on Wall Street as US and China are closer to striking a deal as Trump said "we will know in the next four weeks"; providing a timeline to anticipate the summit (with Xi) to happen.

"Based on technicals, the Dow could trend higher after surpassing above the 26,300 level, targeting 26,951.

"With the still-optimistic progress in the US-China trade discussions, we believe the positive sentiment could spill over towards stocks on the local front.

"Also, traders may look out for bashed down banking heavyweights earlier this week as we anticipate the KLCI to extend its technical rebound over the near term. Also, we believe O&G stocks will be focused on the back of firmer crude oil prices," the research firm said.