KLCI volatile ahead of China data

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KUALA LUMPUR (Nov 20): The FBM KLCI vacillated between gains and losses as investors waited for crucial China economic data, which may have an impact on world markets.

Reuters reported that for short-term cues, Asian markets were awaiting the China flash November purchasing managers' index number, a private sector reading of the country's manufacturing sector activity. Recent data showed the economy lost momentum heading into the fourth quarter.

In Malaysia, the KLCI, which opened in the red, rose 0.5 point or 0.02% to 1,824.89 at 9.04am. The index subsequently erased gains to trade lower at 1,823.39 at 9.17am.

The KLCI declined on losses in stocks like Axiata Group Bhd and Malayan Banking Bhd.

The KLCI had gain substantially over the past two days. Yesterday, the KLCI rose 6.01 points or 0.33% to close at 1,824.39. The KLCI had extended gains after climbing 11.9 points or 0.66% last Tuesday (November 18).
   
Today, TA Securities Holdings Bhd wrote in a note that "while further near-term upside on an oversold rebound is expected, trading sentiment should turn cautious unless buying momentum improves significantly."

Bursa Malaysia saw some 75 million shares worth RM24 million changed hands. There were 106 gainers versus 51 decliners.

The top gainer was United Plantations Bhd while leading decliner was Telekom Malaysia Bhd.

The most-active stock was Minetech Resources Bhd.

Across Asia, Japan's Nikkei 225 rose 0.24% while South Korea's Kospi declined 0.3%. Austalia's S&P/ASX 200 was 0.5% lower.

Reuters reported that Asian stocks mostly fell on Thursday apart from Tokyo, where shares bucked the downward trend and rose in reaction to a further weakening in the yen. MSCI's broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan fell 0.3 percent, with an extended decline in oil and other commodity prices continuing to bite.