KLCI retreats, index-linked plantations weigh

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KUALA LUMPUR (April 20): The FBM KLCI retreated at mid-morning today, weighed by select blue chips including index-linked plantation companies.

At 10am, the FBM KLCI dipped 0.81 points to 1,710.34.

The top losers included British American Tobacco (Malaysia) Bhd, Panasonic Manufacturing Malaysia Bhd, Kuala Lumpur Kepong Bhd, IOI Corporation Bhd, Cycle & Carriage Bintang Bhd, United Plantations Bhd, Lafarge Malaysia Bhd, Latitude Tree Holdings Bhd and PPB Group Bhd.

The actively traded stocks include AirAsia X Bhd, AirAsia Bhd, Vivocom Intl Holdings Bhd, JAG Bhd, Sumatec Resources Bhd, Bumi Armada Bhd and Yong Tai Bhd.

The top gainers included Hong Leong Industries Bhd, Genting Bhd, TIME dotCom Bhd, Sarawak Oil Palms Bhd, Petronas Gas Bhd and Hong Leong Financial Group Bhd.

Asian shares reached six-month peaks on Wednesday as a falling US dollar and fading concerns about China lifted commodity prices and risk appetite generally, according to Reuters.

MSCI's broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan added 0.4% to territory last visited in early November. Australia's resource-sensitive index rose 0.8% to its loftiest level in almost four months, it said.

Hong Leong IB Research said it expects traders to stay cautious today over the release of a few key economic data, including US Existing Home Sales (Mar); US EIA Crude Oil Stocks Change (15/Apr); Japan Balance of Trade (Mar); and Malaysia Inflation Rate YoY (Mar).

"Coupled with its fragile technical indications as mentioned in our Traders Brief report, the FBM KLCI is expected to see further consolidation.

"On the domestic front, the firm stance of BNM (Bank Negara Malaysia) not to ease lending conditions may lead to disappointment over speculation of property sector rebound," it said.