KLCI stays up, tracks regional markets but gains limited

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KUALA LUMPUR (Feb 19): The FBM KLCI remained in positive zone at mid-morning today, tracking regional markets on expectations of progress in the China-US trade talks. However, gains are seen limited.

At 10am, the FBM KLCI was up 3.92 points to 1,696.66.

Gainers led losers by 276 to 225, while 292 counters traded unchanged. Volume was 623.08 million shares valued at RM324.92 million.

The gainers included Hong Leong Industries Bhd, Petronas Chemicals Group Bhd, Carlsberg Brewery Malaysia Bhd, Heineken Malaysia Bhd, Kossan Rubber Industries Bhd, Syarikat Takaful Malaysia Keluarga Bhd, Mi Technovation Bhd, Gamuda Bhd and MISC Bhd.

The actives included EA Holdings Bhd, TRC Synergy Bhd, Permaju Industries Bhd, Bumi Armada Bhd, VSolar Group Bhd and Inix Technologies Holdings Bhd.

The decliners included Nestle (M) Bhd, British American Tobacco (M) Bhd, Southern Steel Bhd, Fraser & Neave Holdings Bhd, Magnum Bhd, Press Metal Aluminium Holdings Bhd, Tadmax Resources Bhd and Petronas Gas Bhd.

Asian shares hovered near a four-month peak on Tuesday, supported by hopes that Sino-US trade talks were making positive progress and expectations of policy stimulus from central banks, according to Reuters.

While investors were without any firm directional cues with US markets shut on Monday for public holiday, sentiment remains broadly buoyant with the STOXX 600 index of European shares hitting four-month highs, it said.

Hong Leong IB Research said at this current juncture, investors are taking a slightly positive stance on trade developments, expecting a positive outcome before the March 1 deadline.

"Nevertheless, FOMC (Federal Open Market Committee) meeting minutes will be watched closely this week, to gauge the interest rate outlook moving forward.

"As trade tensions eased on the back of positive statements from (US) President (Donald) Trump over the weekend and strong regional gains yesterday, we anticipate that the positive sentiment could extend over the near term.

"Meanwhile, we expect trading activities to increase in O&G sector as Brent oil prices extended the rebound above US$66 (RM269.87)," it said.