KLCI reverses loss, notches up limited gains

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KUALA LUMPUR (Dec 24): The FBM KLCI reversed its earlier losses and notched up limited gains amid cautious pre-holiday trade at the midday break today.

At 12.30pm, the local index was up 5.46 points to 1,675.74. The index had started the day on a negative note and earlier fallen to its intra-morning low of 1,658.10.

Losers led gainers by 314 to 288, while 303 counters traded unchanged. Volume was 738.3 million shares valued at RM411.3 million.

The gainers included British American Tobacco (M) Bhd, Fraser & Neave Holdings Bhd, MISC Bhd, Petron Malaysia Refining & Marketing Bhd, Top Glove Corp Bhd, Petronas Gas Bhd, IHH Healthcare Bhd, Tenaga Nasional Bhd and AMMB Holdings Bhd.

The actives included Hubline Bhd, Sapura Energy Bhd, My EG Services Bhd, Velesto Energy Bhd, Jaks Resources Bhd, Prestariang Bhd, Permaju Industries Bhd, Tiger Synergy Bhd, Seacara Group Bhd and Hibiscus Petroleum Bhd.

The decliners included Nestle (M) Bhd, Dutch Lady Milk Industries Bhd, Hong Leong Financial Group Bhd, Time Dotcom Bhd, Kuala Lumpur Kepong Bhd, Alliance Bank Malaysia Bhd, Scientex Bhd and Sime Darby Plantation Bhd.

Asian stocks were subdued on Monday as investors fretted that political instability in the United States was leaving the country rudderless at a time when the global economy was showing signs of faltering, according to Reuters.

Moves were limited by a holiday in Japan while many bourses are set to close early for Christmas. MSCI's broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan lost 0.5% to its lowest in seven weeks, it said.

Affin Hwang Capital Research said Asian markets were expected to open low in line with the US market.

"The FBM KLCI Index expected to be very volatile; nonetheless, local stocks are anticipated to edge higher gradually. Accumulate quality stocks on price weakness.

"Anticipate FBM KLCI Index to test the short-term resistance in the near future," it said.