KLCI stays above 1,800

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KUALA LUMPUR (May 14): The FBM KLCI has been hovering in the tight range today amidst lack of fresh buying impetus.

The benchmark index managed to stay above the 1,800-points level today to close 1,807.55 points, up 4.53 points or 0.25%.

The gains on some of the KLCI component stocks such as Kuala Lumpur Kepong Bhd (KLK), Petronas Chemicals Bhd and CIMB Group Bhd have lent support to the index.

On the broader market, the top gainers are KESM Industries Bhd, which share price climbed 15% to RM3.51, and Syarikat Takaful (M) Bhd, which hit a fresh record high of RM15.80, up 30 sen or 1.94%.

“There is not much excitement in the stock market today although the index managed to stay above 1,800 points. The trading volume was not high as it was less than two billion (shares),” a fund manager told theedgemarkets.com.

He said the listing of power producer Malakoff Bhd tomorrow might help to bring excitement to the local bourse.

Hong Leong Investment Bank Research in a report today commented that the KLCI is “not out of the woods” yet, given a host of domestic and external challenges.

It said the overall sentiment remained cautious amid lingering domestic concerns such as on-going uninspiring first quarter reporting season, potential Fitch rating downgrade during its next review in May/June and latest fiasco surrounding 1Malaysia Development Bhd (1MDB).  

Across the board, a total of 1.57 billion shares worth RM1.79 billion traded. Market gainers beat losers by 411 versus 355, while 359 counters were unchanged.

The top gainer was KLK, while the leading decliner was United Plantations Bhd. The most active counter was Vsolar Group Bhd.

Reuters reported that US retail sales were flat in April, dampening hopes of a sharp rebound in the US economic growth in the second quarter. China also saw its economy losing steam in April despite easier monetary policy, while Europe's largest economy, Germany, slowed in the first quarter.

Elsewhere, Japan’s Nikkei 225 was down 0.98%, while South Korea’s Kospi also closed 0.29% higher.

The Shanghai Composite Index ended 0.06% higher and Hong Kong’s Hang Seng also closed 0.14% higher. Singapore’s Straits Times Index closed 0.08% higher.