KLCI stays muted in line with regional pause as select blue chips weigh

KLCI stays muted in line with regional pause as select blue chips weigh

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KUALA LUMPUR (March 14): The FBM KLCI remained muted at mid-morning today weighed by select index-linked blue chips, in line with the pause at regional markets.

At 10am, the FBM KLCI shed 0.31 points to 1,677.93.

Gainers led losers by 305 to 229, while 305 counters traded unchanged. Volume was 1.34 billion shares valued at RM548.13 million.

The top decliners included Nestle (M) Bhd, Fraser & Neave Holdings Bhd, British American Tobacco (M) Bhd, Hong Leong Financial Group Bhd, Genting Plantations Bhd, KESM Industries Bhd, Hap Seng Consolidated Bhd, QL Resources Bhd, IOI Corp Bhd and Tenaga Nasional Bhd.

The actives included Destini Bhd, Perdana Petroleum Teknologi Bhd, Sapura Energy Bhd, Bumi Armada Bhd, Velesto Energy Bhd, Zelan Bhd, Naim Holdings Bhd and KNM Group Bhd.

The gainers included Naim, KKB Engineering Bhd, Allianz Malaysia Bhd, RHB Bank Bhd, Petronas Gas Bhd, Bermaz Auto Bhd, Hartalega Holdings Bhd, Tasek Corp Bhd, Chin Teck Plantations Bhd and Zecon Bhd.

Asian shares paused on Thursday as investors awaited data from China for clues about the health of the world's second largest economy while the pound shot up to near nine-month highs as the risk of a no-deal Brexit receded following a late-night vote, according to Reuters.

MSCI's broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan was barely changed at 522.38 points. Japan's Nikkei jumped 0.6 percent while Australian and New Zealand shares each added 0.2 percent, it said.

Hong Leong IB Research said in view of a potential trade deal to be struck soon (President Trump and President Xi will be meeting face to face in order to iron out the trade details within these two months), coupled with several positive economic data recently, it has stabilized the trading tone at least for the near term.

“We may anticipate Wall Street to charge higher at least for the near term,” it said.

On the FBM KLCI, the research house said taking cues from overnight positive Wall Street performance, coupled with the firmer crude oil prices on the back of a large US inventories drawdown amid sanctions of stalling exports from Venezuela, the buying support may spill over towards stocks on the local front amongst tech and O&G stocks.