KUALA LUMPUR: Consumer dividend stocks were among the top losers at midday on Thursday on some mild selling.
The FBM KLCI was also dragged down by profit taking in Axiata but this was offset by some fund buying of banks.
At 12.30pm, the FBM KLCI was down 1.7 points or 0.1% to 1,671.37 after reaching an intra-morning high of 1,678. Turnover was 919.10 million shares valued at RM699.32mil. There were 270 gainers, 308 losers and 321 stocks unchanged.
Maybank KE Research said the KLCI's resistance level of 1,673 and 1,679 might cap market gains, whilst obvious support areas were at 1,658 and 1,671.
"A move past the KLCI's all-time high of 1,679.37 from current levels could see the index head towards its next modest upside target of 1,683.
"Some accumulation near its support areas may be wise; as the US's mixed performance may not affect the local market. The local index appears very resilient despite recent global price turbulence," it said in its technical report.
Reuters reported China's economy is finally regaining traction, official and private sector factory surveys showed on Thursday, although the recovery remains sluggish with the latter recording its 12th straight month of slowing growth.
It reported the final reading for the HSBC Purchasing Managers' Index rose to 49.5 in October - just shy of the 50-point line that divides accelerating from slowing growth - from 47.9 in September. The reading was the highest since February, and deviated more than usual from the October flash, or preliminary, reading of 49.1 released last week.
Among the key regional markets, Japan's Nikkei 225 added 0.29% to 8,954.49, Hong Kong's Hang Seng Index gained 0.6% to 21,772.62, Shanghai's Composite Index gained 1.77% to 2,105.60 and Taiwan's Taiex edged up 0.05% to 7,169.60.
However, South Korea's Kospi fell 0.6% to 1,900.58 and Singapore's Straits Times Index shed 0.2% to 3,032.38.
US light crude oil rose 8.0 cents to US$86.32 but Brent fell 17 cents US$108.53. Spot gold rose 85 cents to US$1,721.50.
The ringgit was trading at 3.0514 against the US dollar.
Crude palm oil for third-month futures rose RM29 to RM2,525. PPB Group fell 22 sen to RM13.24 and erased 0.4% off the KLCI, BLD Plantations lost 13 sen to RM7.85, KLK eight sen to RM21.34, two sen to RM5.04.
Consumer-related stocks fell, with Dutch Lady down 26 sen to RM49.70, F&N 245 sen to RM19.56, Nestle 18 sen lower at RM69.50 while Carlsberg fell eight sen to RM13.02.
However, Amway added 34 sen to RM12.48 and GAB rose 16 sen to RM16.76.
Tasek was the top loser, down 26 sen to RM13.54.
Axiata fell six sen to RM6.47 and wiped out 1.18 points of the KLCI while TM shed three sen to RM5.95. PetChem fell nine sen to RM6.41 and PetGas four sen to RM19.56.
Tiger was the most active with 84.10 million shares, falling 6.5 sen to 33.5 sen. Its warrants lost nine sen to 27 sen.
Gamuda rallied 14 sen to RM3.75 with 18.79 million shares done.
BAT rose eight sen to RM63.32 and Tenaga added four sen to RM6.99. Among the banks, CIMB rose four sen to RM7.67, Maybank three sen to RM9.06 while Public bank and RHB Cap added two sen each to RM15.92 and RM7.52.