KLCI trends higher in cautious trading

KUALA LUMPUR: Tracking a higher overnight Wall Street, shares on Bursa Malaysia ended the morning trading session on the positive side.

At midday, the FBM KLCI gained 5.85 points, or 0.33% to 1,790.29. The local bourse opens up 4.89 points, or 0.27%, to 1,789.33.

There were 372 gainers, 364 losers and 399 counters traded unchanged on the Bursa Malaysia. Turnover was at 1.024 billion shares valued at RM913.35mil.

Dealers said the overall sentiment remained cautious ahead of the uncertainty over the outcome of the Federal Open Market Committee meeting (FOMC) beginning Wednesday. They noted that US interest rate decisions were closely watched due to their impact on global fund flow.

Wall Street rebounded from a two-day decline as investors bought into banking stocks with an expectation that the Federal Reserve would raise the interest rate in the FOMC meeting. 
Overnight, the Dow Jones Industrial Average and S&P 500 added 0.4% and 0.5% respectively on the day, both closing at record-highs. 

Hong Leong Investment Bank Research believes that the near term momentum would still be positive as the Dow was marking fresh territory with sustained buying support among the heavyweights. The Dow’s trading range will be located between 21,200-21,500.

“On the local front, we opine that bargain hunting activities may emerge on the back of better sentiments abroad. The FBM KLCI may see upward potential to 1,790-1,800. Also, semiconductor sector is likely to trade higher on a relief rebound,” the research house said. 

JF Apex Research said the FBM KLCI could turn positive today but remain below the resistance of 1,800 points following the positive performance in the US and Europe.

Top gainers on Bursa Malaysia included Panasonic Manufacturing which added 42 sen to RM35.42. Malaysian Pacific Industry gained 34 sen to RM13.26 and Southern Acids rose 26 sen to RM4.76. The decliners included Fraser & Neave, Petronas Gas, NPC Resources and Kek Seng, 

Meanwhile, Asian shares were mostly lower with Nikkei 225 up 0.14%. The Hang Seng and Shanghai Composite indices fell 0.32% and 0.7% respectively while benchmarks in Singapore eased 0.22% and South Korea’s Kospi fell 0.2%.
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