KLCI reverses loss, gains seen limited

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KUALA LUMPUR (Feb 22): The FBM KLCI reversed its losses and rose at mid-morning today, lifted by select blue chips.

However, any gain is seen limited with some pullback expected at the local market.

At 10am, the FBM KLCI was up 1.04 points to 1,859.21. The index had earlier dipped to a low of 1,854.03.

Gainers trailed losers by 263 to 304, while 287 counters traded unchanged.

Volume was 691.63 million shares valued at RM297.06 million.

The top gainers included Ajinomoto (M) Bhd, Dutch Lady Milk Industries Bhd, Nestle (M) Bhd, Toyo Ink Group Bhd, British American Tobacco (M) Bhd, Magni-Tech Industries Bhd, Fraser & Neave Holdings Bhd, Public Bank Bhd and Petronas Gas Bhd.

The actives included AirAsia X Bhd, DGB Asia Bhd, Sapura Energy Bhd, PUC Bhd, Trive Property Group Bhd, Sumatec Resources Bhd and Toyo Ink warrant.

The decliners included United Plantations Bhd, Hong Leong Financial Group Bhd, Harrisons Holdings (M) Bhd, Hong Leong Bank Bhd, Hengyuan Refining Company Bhd, Mercury Industries Bhd, Malaysia Airports Holdings Bhd and Hong Leong Industries Bhd.

Reuters said Asian shares slipped on Thursday as the risk of faster hikes in US interest rates lifted short-term Treasury yields to the highest in almost a decade and boosted the US dollar.

MSCI's broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan eased 0.35% in early trade, while E-Mini futures for the S&P 500 lost 0.2%, it said.

Hong Leong IB Research in a traders' brief said following a two-day slide of 422 points, Dow's near-term outlook has turned mildly negative after being firmly below the 20d SMA support near 25,300.

"Choppiness will prevail amid concerns over inflationary pressures and spiking bond yields (which closed at four-year high of 2.95%) ahead of the March 20-21 FOMC meeting. Immediate resistance is 25,600 while support falls on 24,000 levels.

"While sustained buying on selected blue chips heavyweights continue to cushion any sharp fall in KLCI due to negative spillover from Dow's slump, keen profit-taking and selling interest could check gains on the broader market.

"Moreover, any negative surprises from ongoing February reporting season and uncertainty over the upcoming GE14 could induce further profit-taking pullback," it said.