KLCI shrugs off regional fall, rises 0.34%

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KUALA LUMPUR (May 16): The FBM KLCI rose 0.34%, appearing unperturbed by the retreat at most regional markets that were rattled by a halt in talks in the Korean peninsula.

At 12.30pm, the FBM KLCI rose 6.33 points to 1,854.53.

Losers edged gainers by 309 to 302, while 544 counters traded unchanged. Volume was 1.72 billion shares, valued at RM1.16 billion.

Top gainers included British American Tobacco (M) Bhd, Nestle (M) Bhd, Danainfra Nasional Bhd, Dutch Lady Milk Industries Bhd, Aeon Credit Service (M) Bhd, Fraser & Neave Holdings Bhd, Malaysia Airports Holdings Bhd, Hong Long Financial Group Bhd, Heineken Malaysia Bhd, Genting Plantations Bhd and LPI Capital Bhd.

Actives included Advance Synergy Bhd, Sapura Energy Bhd, Nexgram Holdings Bhd, UMW Oil & Gas Corp Bhd, Borneo Oil Bhd, Eden Inc Bhd, Sino Hua-An International Bhd and Priceworth International Bhd.

Decliners included Panasonic Manfacturing Malaysia Bhd, Apex Healthcare Bhd, Magna Prima Bhd, Berjaya Media Bhd, United Plantations Bhd, Alliance Bank Malaysia Bhd and PPB Group Bhd.

Asian stock markets dipped on Wednesday, after Pyongyang abruptly called off talks with Seoul, throwing a U.S.-North Korean summit into doubt, while surging bond yields revived worries about faster U.S. interest rate hikes that could curb global demand, according to Reuters.

MSCI's broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan was down 0.2% as Pyongyang's move appeared to mark a break in months of warming ties between North and South Korea, and with Washington, Reuters said.

Affin Hwang Capital Research said in the last trading session that the US stocks declined after a four-day rally, with the steepest slide in almost two weeks, whilst US treasury 10-year yield jumped to its highest since 2011.

Views on the dollar gains and the U.S economic rebound are looking more tangible, after a promising retail sales data announced yesterday, the research house said.

“This leads to a strong case for the U.S Federal Reserve to boost interest rates, perhaps three more times in 2018.

“For the local market, after experiencing much volatility in the first trading day since the election, the KLCI seems struggled to sustain gains on Monday and closed lower on Tuesday.

“Overnight, weakness in the US and mixed European markets may lead local markets to open soft today. Investors' focus remain on consumer, oil and gas, and related energy sectors.

“Uptrend remains intact — However, the FBMKLCI Index is expected to experience a normal consolidation in the near future,” it said.