KLCI ticks up, but gains seen muted

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KUALA LUMPUR (March 30): The FBM KLCI edged up in early trade today but gains are seen limited amidst lack of fresh leads and the looming Goods and Services Tax (GST) to be implemented later this week.

At 9.01am, the FBM KLCI was up 2.25 points to 1,815.62.

The early gainers included United Plantations Bhd, Lafarge Malaysia Bhd, Perak Corporation Bhd, Genting Plantations Bhd, Tahps Group Bhd, MISC Bhd, Sime Darby Bhd, Bursa Malaysia Bhd, Berjaya Auto Bhd and Yee Lee Corporation Bhd.

Asian markets got off to a sluggish start on Monday in a week book ended with Easter holidays across the globe and a U.S. jobs report that could impact the timing of the first hike in interest rates there, according to Reuters.

MSCI's broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan was off 0.2 percent. Australia's main index lost 0.8 percent amid weakness in commodity prices, it said.

JF Apex Securities Research in a market preview today said US markets climbed on Friday after investors take hint from Federal Reserve chairperson Janet Yellen's comments on rate hike.

Meanwhile, it said European stocks closed mixed amid concern on geopolitical tension in Yemen.

“On the local market, the FBM KLCI dropped 5.05 points to 1813.37 points.

“We expect the index to remain lacklustre and could trade sideways below the resistance level of 1830 points amid absence of positive leads, lingering concerns on Middle East, and implementation of GST effective this Wednesday,” it said.