KLCI reverses gains, Top Glove leads retreat

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KUALA LUMPUR (Jan 8): The FBM KLCI retreated at mid-morning today as select index-linked blue chips including Top Glove Corp Bhd dragged the index lower.

At 10.05am, the FBM KLCI fell 2.43 points to 1,676.74. The index had earlier risen to a high of 1,686.37.

Losers led gainers by 294 to 202, while 276 counters traded unchanged. Volume was 717.3 million shares value at RM329.71 million.

The decliners included Petronas Gas Bhd, MISC Bhd, Time Dotcom Bhd, Top Glove, Hartalega Holdings Bhd, Kossan Rubber Industries Bhd, Dialog Group Bhd and Hong Leong Financial Group Bhd.

The actives included Tatt Giap Group Bhd, Gagasan Nadi Cergas Bhd, Sapura Energy Bhd, AirAsia X Bhd, Bumi Armada Bhd, Hubline Bhd and Datasonic Group Bhd.

The gainers included United Plantations Bhd, Petronas Dagangan Bhd, Malaysian Pacific Industries Bhd, Heineken Malaysia Bhd, Hong Leong Industries Bhd, KESM Industries Bhd, Thong Guan Industries Bhd, Dufu Technology Corp Bhd and IQ Group Holdings Bhd.

Asian shares rose for the third straight session on Tuesday as investors bet that Washington and Beijing are inching towards a trade deal and that the US Federal Reserve would halt its tightening if economic growth slows further, according to Reuters.

Japan's Nikkei rose 1% while MSCI's broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan ticked up 0.1%, the newswire said.

Hong Leong IB Research said in the US, it remains hopeful on the recent V-shape rebound and anticipate further extension of the relief rally in view that US Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross commented that there is a "very good chance" the US will get a "reasonable settlement" that addresses all the key issues during an interview.

"Hence, we could expect the Dow to trade higher over the near term.

"We believe the local stock market (is) likely to trade on an upbeat tone following the positive overnight performance on Wall Street, coupled with the optimism that some trade deals could be struck in the ongoing trade talks between US [and] China.

"Moreover, the firmer Brent oil (US$57.33) recovery over the past few days could lend a support on oil and gas stocks over the near term," the research house said.