#Noon Market* KLCI remains lacklustre, dips lower

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KUALA LUMPUR (Aug 28): The FBM KLCI remained lacklustre at the midday break on Thursday as profit taking kept a lid on the local market.

At 12.30pm, the FBM KLCI shed 0.28 points to 1,872.10.

The top losers included Aeon Credit, MPI, BAT, MKH, Takaful, Lafarge Malaysia, Petronas Dagangan, Seal, Faber and Perduren.

The actives included Sanichi, Sumatec, IFCA MSC, Takaso, Olympia, Globalte, Iris Corp, PDZ and PasuKhas.

The gainers included Petronas Gas, United Plantations, Dana Infra, Hong Leong Industries, IQ Group, Press Metal, HLFG and MMC Corp.

Regionally, Asian stocks crept up on Thursday following another steady performance by Wall Street shares which hovered near record highs, while the euro clung to modest gains after rebounding from 13-month lows, according to Reuters.

The Australian dollar rose to a three-week high versus the U.S. dollar after second quarter business investment data beat forecasts, it said.

BIMB Securities Research said U.S. stocks drifted mostly higher yesterday as the S&P 500 index set a record for the third day in a row.

The research house said trading volume was about one-third below average ahead of the Labor Day holiday weekend in the U.S. with many investors away on vacation.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 15.31 points, or 0.1%, to 17,122.01. In Europe, markets took a breather, with weak economic data from France and Italy and worse than expected German confidence data providing no more impetus to sustain the recent two-day rally, it said.

BIMB Securities said that in Asia, stock markets were mostly trading higher, tracking cues from Wall Street where stocks closed on a positive note overnight on some upbeat economic data.

“Locally, share prices on the FBM KLCI closed higher, propped up by gains on blue-chips especially Hong Leong-related counters.

“The benchmark perked 10.56 points to 1,872.38. The market barometer moved between 1,861.73 and 1,878.71 throughout the day.

“We expect the local market to remain lackluster in the short term due to lack of fresh catalysts with the index hovering in the region of 1,863-80,” it said.