KLCI struggles to breach 1,690 level as sentiment remains wary

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KUALA LUMPUR (March 6): The FBM KLCI struggled to breach the 1,690-point level in the morning session today, as domestic investor sentiment remained wary along with the muted regional markets.

At 12.30pm, the FBM KLCI was up 0.87 points to 1,686.49. The index could only managed to reach a high of 1,688.30.

Gainers led losers by 321 to 235, while 523 counters traded unchanged. Volume was 1.69 billion shares valued at RM1.09 billion.

The gainers included British American Tobacco (M) Bhd, Teck Guan Perdana Bhd, Petronas Gas Bhd, Heineken Malaysia Bhd, Nestle (M) Bhd, Sarawak Oil Palms Bhd, My EG Services Bhd (MyEG), ViTrox Corp Bhd, Can-One Bhd and Press Metal Aluminium Holdings Bhd.

The actives include MyEG, Sapura Energy Bhd, Velesto Energy Bhd, Dayang Enterprise Holdings Bhd, Seacera Group Bhd, Brahim's Holdings Bhd, Bumi Armada Bhd and Zelan Bhd.

The decliners included Carlsberg Brewery Holdings Bhd, Panasonic Manufacturing Malaysia Bhd, RHB Bank Bhd, Malaysia Airports Holdings Bhd, Kumpulan Powernet Bhd, Merge Energy Bhd, LPI Capital Bhd and Rapid Synergy Bhd.

Most Southeast Asian stocks were muted on Wednesday, in line with their broader Asian peers, as investors awaited details on progress in the US-China trade negotiations, according to Reuters.

US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said in a media interview that US President Donald Trump will reject a trade deal with China that is not perfect, but the United States would still keep working on an agreement, the newswire said.

Affin Hwang Capital Research said the FBM KLCI Index weakened further, dropping another 8.37 points or 0.49% on Tuesday. The index closed at 1,685.62, trading within a range of 9.09 points between an intra-day high of 1,691.28 and a low of 1,682.19.

"Technical indicators confirm that a pullback is in progress with markets likely to reach the 1,665 level in the near term whereby market participants may potentially see some buying at that level.

"As of right now, technically, there are no clear signs that the index will stage a reversal higher.

"Pullback by the FBM KLCI Index currently in progress," it said.