Muted gains for KLCI as regional markets stay cautious

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KUALA LUMPUR (Feb 14): The FBM KLCI notched up muted gains against the backdrop of cautious regional markets.

At 12.30pm, the FBM KLCI was up 0.01 points to 1,685.31. The index had earlier dipped to a low of 1,682.81.

Gainers trailed losers by 291 to 362, while 368 counters traded unchanged. Volume was 1.97 billion shares valued at RM945.83 million.

The gainers included Fraser & Neave Holdings Bhd, Carlsberg Brewery Malaysia Bhd, Dutch Lady Milk Industries Bhd, Petron Malaysia Refining & Marketing Bhd, Kian Joo Can Factory Bhd, Heineken Malaysia Bhd, PPB Group Bhd, MSM Malaysia Holdings Bhd, Hock Seng Lee Bhd and KKB Engineering Bhd.

The actives included Sapura Energy Bhd, KNM Group Bhd, Bumi Armada Bhd, Dagang NeXchange Bhd, Prestariang Bhd, Barakah Offshore Petroleum Bhd, Seacera Group Bhd and Dayang Enterprise Bhd.

The losers included United Plantations Bhd, British American Tobacco (M) Bhd, Ajinomoto (M) Bhd, Mesiniaga Bhd, Malaysia Airports Holdings Bhd, United Malacca Bhd and Amway (M) Holdings Bhd.

Asian stock markets were in a cautious mood on Thursday as investors hung on for any hint of progress in the latest Sino-US tariff talks, though China trade data handily beat expectations in a welcome relief for the global economy, according to Reuters.

Beijing reported exports rose 9.1% in January on a year earlier, confounding forecasts of a fall, while imports dipped by a surprisingly slight 1.5%, it said.

Affin Hwang Capital Research said the FBM KLCI Index closed relatively flat once again on Wednesday, down 2.11 points or 0.13% to 1,685.3.

It said performance remained muted despite overnight gains in the US market. Nonetheless, prices are still supported above the 20-day exponential moving average (EMA20d) which is slightly positive for the index.

"Anticipate the index to open slightly higher today following gains seen in the global market.

"Anticipate the FBM KLCI Index to congest sideways with downward biases," it said.