KUALA LUMPUR: Blue chips on Bursa Malaysia were firmer at midday on Wednesday with some mild buying of CIMB and YTL but external euro zone worries dampened buying enthusiasm.
Among regional markets, Asian stocks dropped and the euro fell to a two-year low as Spanish borrowing costs rose and China damped speculation of large-scale stimulus in the world's second-largest economy, wire reports said.
Dealers said after the 10-point run-up on the FBM KLCI on Tuesday, investors were staying on the sidelines awaiting fresh corporate news as the January-March reporting season winds down.
At12.30pm, the KLCI was up 2.53 points to 1,567.85. Turnover was 440.15 million shares valued at RM419.67mil. There were 261 gainers, 299 losers and 280 stocks unchanged.
Among the key regional markets, Japan's Nikkei 225 fell 0.74% to 8,592.72; Hong Kong's Hang Seng Index fell 1.94% to 18,686.25; Shanghai's Composite Index 0.1% to 2,387.23; South Korea's Kospi 0.63% to 1,838.29; Taiwan's Taiex 0.96% to 7,271.60 and Singapore's Straits Times Index 0.28% to 2,794.05
Maybank Investment Bank Research said investors should sell on any low-volume rebounds on the local market, as the foreign indices are not entirely stable yet.
"Sell in May and go away" will still hold true in 2012, it said, adding the break below 1,566.55 implies longer-term targets of 1,451, 1,486 and 1,510.
"A rise above 1,567 however, would alleviate the downward selling pressure," it said.
At Bursa, CIMB rose seven sen to RM7.43, pushing the KLCI up 1.23 points while YTL rose eight sen to RM1.90, nudging the index up by 1.22 points.
YTL proposed to reward its shareholders with treasury shares and selling of its warrants in YTL Power International Bhd at a discount of 53%.
F&N was the top gainer, up 20 sen to RM18.20 with just 200 shares done. UMW added 19 sen to RM8.04, KLCCP 13 sen to RM3.75 while Nestle, Dutch Lady and Takaful rose 10 sen each to RM53.30, RM33.02 and RM4.50 respectively.
Pestech, which was listed on Wednesday, fell 6.5 sen to 93.5 sen.
SP Setia, which chalked up gains of 30 sen on Tuesday, gave up most of the gains, down 21 sen to RM3.79. KLK and Tradewinds Plantations lost 10 sen each to RM21.88 and RM4.90.
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