KLCI struggles to stay in positive zone

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KUALA LUMPUR (March 13): The FBM KLCI struggled to stay in positive zone in the morning session on Friday amidst choppy trade and a general lack of domestic catalysts.

At 12.30pm, the local index was up 0.07 points to 1,786.94 in choppy trade. It had earlier risen to its intra-morning high of 1,789.36.

Losers overtook gainers by 382 to 333, while 297 counters traded unchanged. Volume was 1.46 billion shares valued at RM714.79 million.

The top gainers included Nestle (M) Bhd, Panasonic Malaysia Manufacturing Bhd, Amway (M) Holdinbgs Bhd, SCGM Bhd, Malaysian Pacific Industries Bhd and Hong Leong Financial Group Bhd.

The actively traded stocks included Genetec Technology Bhd, Nexgram Holdings Bhd, Wintoni Group Bhd, Asia Media Bhd, Eti Tech Corporation Bhd, Privasia Technology Bhd, Xinghe Holdings Bhd and UMW Oil & Gas Corporation Bhd (UMWOG).

The decliners included British American Tobacco (M) Bhd, UMWOG, LTKM Bhd, Far East Corporation Bhd, Karex Bhd, Metal Reclamation Bhd, Dayan Enterprise Holdings Bhd, Favelle Favco Bhd and Public Bank Bhd.

Asian shares shook off early losses on Friday, underpinned by gains on Wall Street, while the dollar rebounded from a pause to its recent rally after disappointing U.S. retail sales data, according to Reuters.

MSCI's broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan was up about 0.1 percent on the day. It was well off 7-week lows plumbed earlier in the week but still on track for a weekly loss of around 2 percent, it said.

BIMB Securities Research said key regional indexes ended mostly positive on Thursday on earlier trading with Japan stocks posting their biggest advance in a month following reports about pay increases and generous bonus offers.

Locally, it said the FBM KLCI ended higher, adding 8.71 points to 1,786.87, lifted by gaming and telco counters.

“Trading participation saw net selling by foreign institutions and local retail while local institutions were net buyers.

“We expect the local market to trend sideways due to lack of fresh catalysts with the index hovering around 1,785-95,” it said.