KUALA LUMPUR (Sept 18): The FBM KLCI was down on the first trading day after the Malaysia Day weekend, as local retail investors take a breather from the market.
At 5pm, the KLCI was 2.67 points or 0.15% lower compared to Friday's close, to settle at 1,783.66 points.
"Local retail investors are taking a break from the market. There isn't enough liquidity to keep in the market," Inter-Pacific Securities Sdn Bhd's head of research Pong Teng Siew told theedgemarkets.com.
Pong stressed that the lack of liquidity in the market, as seen by lower bank deposits, is a cue that the market will be range bound for now.
"I'm still quite positive on the market but with the lack of liquidity, retail investors will take profit now and then, which will cause the market to take periodic breaks," he added.
The KLCI saw some 1.99 billion shares worth some RM1.61 billion traded today. Losers outnumbered gainers by 457 to 406, while 366 counters were unchanged.
United Plantations Bhd topped the gainers list, closing 1.48% higher at RM27.40, while Panasonic Manufacturing Malaysia Bhd led the decliners as it fell 4.87% to close at RM37.48.
Sino Hua-An International Bhd was the most active counter, with over 99.7 million shares traded as it closed higher by 8.51% at 25.5 sen.
Meanwhile, Reuters reported that a surge in technology stocks helped lift Asian bourses to decade highs and emerging market shares to three-year highs on Monday, tracking gains in developed markets.
"The gains came after new closing highs on Wall Street on Friday, with the Nasdaq setting an intraday record. This fueled an appetite for Asian technology firms, with Samsung Electronics up over 4% to a record high and chip maker SK Hynix up 3.2%," it said.
Across Asia, Hong Kong's Hang Seng Index closed 1.27% higher and South Korea's Kospi gained 1.35%. The MSCI AC Asia Pacific was up 0.05%, with Asian shares ex-Japan up just over 1% to highs not seen since late 2007. Markets in Japan are closed for the Respect-for-the-Aged Day holiday.