KLCI struggles to climb higher as sentiment stays tepid

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KUALA LUMPUR (July 30): The FBM KLCI struggled to climb higher at mid-morning today as sentiment at the local bourse stayed tepid in line with regional markets.

At 10.15am, the FBM KLCI shed 0.59 points to 1,768.55.

Losers led gainers by 329 to 215, while 327 counters traded unchanged. Volume was 758.35 million shares valued at RM355.78 million.

The top decliners included Heineken Malaysia Bhd, Malaysian Pacific Industries Bhd, Time dotCom Bhd, DKSH Holdings (M) Bhd, IHH Healthcare Bhd, Petronas Gas Bhd, Petron Malaysia Refining & Marketing Bhd, Top Glove Corp Bhd and Asia Brands Bhd.

The actives included Sino Hua-An International Bhd, Borneo Oil Bhd, Malaysian Resources Corp Bhd, Velesto Energy Bhd, My E.G. Services Bhd, Sapura Energy Bhd and Priceworth International Bhd.

The gainers included Far East Holdings Bhd, Panasonic Manufacturing Malaysia Bhd, Nestle (M) Bhd, British American Tobacco (M) Bhd, Dutch Lady Milk Industries Bhd, Petronas Dagangan Bhd, Riverview Rubber Estates Bhd and Batu Kawan Bhd.

Asian share markets drifted lower on Monday while currencies kept to familiar ranges ahead of a busy week peppered with central bank meetings, corporate results and updates on US inflation and payrolls, according to Reuters.

Technology and energy shares led Japan's Nikkei down 0.4% in early trade, while tech also featured in South Korea's 0.2% decline, it said.

Hong Leong IB Research in a traders' brief said ongoing strong 2Q18 reporting season and positive hopes in NAFTA talks with Canada and Mexico after the favourable trade development deals between the US-EU will support Dow's upside in the near term.

"However, further strong advance could be limited due to overbought signals.

"Although overnight positive gains in Dow and a rapidly reduced net outflow by the foreigners to RM35.7 million (-68% against five-day average of RM112 million) may boost KLCI to retest 1,776 levels today, further upside is limited towards 1,789 amid stretched technicals and uncertainties ahead of the August reporting season," it said.