KLCI struggles to breach 1,600 level without local catalysts

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KUALA LUMPUR (Sept 26): The FBM KLCI edged up but remained below the 1,600-point level at mid-morning on Thursday as a lack of domestic catalysts limited the index's advance.

At 10am, the FBM KLCI added 0.81 points to 1,590.39.

Gainers led losers by 245 to 167, while 269 counters traded unchanged. Volume was 431.2 million shares valued at RM172.24 million.

The gainers included Panasonic Manufacturing Malaysia Bhd, UEM Edgenta Bhd, Aeon Credit Service (M) Bhd, Hong Leong Financial Group Bhd, Petron Malaysia Refining & Marketing Bhd, Mega First Corp Bhd and G3 Global Bhd.

The actives included MTAG Group Bhd, Green Packet Bhd, Ekovest Bhd, iDimension Consolidated Bhd and OCK Group Bhd.

The decliners included Carlsberg Brewery Malaysia Bhd, Malaysia Airports Holdings Bhd, PMB Technology Bhd, Hai-O Enterprise Bhd and Maxis Bhd.

Asian stocks edged up on Thursday as hopes the United States and China may soon end their year-long trade war boosted demand for riskier assets while worries about a US presidential impeachment bid ebbed, according to Reuters.

MSCI's broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan was up 0.1%. Japan's Nikkei rose 0.45%. Australian shares were up 0.13%, it said.

Hong Leong IB Research said that on Wall Street, the political uncertainty may cloud the trading tone for the near term amid the impeachment process on US President Donald Trump, which the research house believes will increase market volatility.

"At the same time, investors will be looking forward and trade on a cautious tone ahead of the upcoming trade talks between the US and China in October. Hence, we think the Dow may trade range bound within the 26,800-27,200 levels.

"Given that Wall Street has formed a technical rebound, we think it may spill over towards stocks on the local front in the near term, supporting the KLCI slightly above the 1,572-1,580 levels.

"Nevertheless, should there be any strong rebound, we think the upside may be limited as investors will trade on a cautious tone ahead of the WGBI (World Government Bond Index) review later today and the upcoming Budget 2020 that will be [tabled] on Oct 11. KLCI's trading range will be located around 1,580-1,600 for today," it said.