KLCI reverses loss as Hartalega, AirAsia lift

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KUALA LUMPUR (May 3): The FBM KLCI reversed its earlier loss and climbed at the midday break today, lifted by gains including at Hartalega Holdings Bhd and AirAsia Group Bhd.

At 12.30pm, the FBM KLCI added 1.11 points to 1,633.35. The index had earlier slipped to a low of 1,625.56.

Losers led gainers by 278 to 256, while 508 counters traded unchanged. Volume was 1.51 billion shares valued at RM918.22 million.

The gainers included United Malacca Bhd, Nestle (M) Bhd, Crescendo Corp Bhd, Hong Leong Industries Bhd, Hartalega, AirAsia, Iskandar Waterfront City Bhd (IWCity) and Pintaras Jaya Bhd.

The actives included Ekovest Bhd, IWCity, Impania Hotels Bhd, Bumi Armada Bhd, Lambo Group Bhd, Econpile Holdings Bhd, DWL Resources Bhd and My EG Services Bhd.

The losers included Tasek Corp Bhd, British American Tobacco (M) Bhd, Carlsberg Brewery Malaysia Bhd, Genting Bhd, Hong Leong Bank Bhd, Pharmaniaga Bhd and Ajinomoto (M) Bhd.

Asian share markets were subdued on Friday amid thin holiday trade although the US dollar found support as investors pared expectations for a US rate cut this year while oil prices loitered near one-month lows on oversupply fears, according to Reuters.

Australia's benchmark index was last up 0.2%, New Zealand shares were off 0.5% while South Korea's KOSPI slipped 0.3%. Trading volumes were light across Asia with markets in China and Japan still closed for holidays, it said.

Affin Hwang Capital Research said the FBM KLCI Index reversed lower on Thursday, dropping 10.05 points or 0.61%. The index ended the trading session at 1,632.24.

It said market breadth heavily skewed towards the negative side with only 225 gainers as compared to 669 losers. Selling pressure in heavy-weight counters like DiGi.Com Bhd, Press Metal Aluminium Holdings Bhd and Hartalega bogged down market performance.

"Anticipate markets to open weaker today in line with its global peers as local sentiments remained sour.

"Expect the FBM KLCI Index to consolidate sideways with slight upward bias," it said.