KLCI flat at mid-day, Lotte Chemical in focus

  • Business
  • Tuesday, 15 Aug 2017

KUALA LUMPUR: Bursa Malaysia ended the morning trading session marginally lower, bucking the trend in regional markets amid a lack of market-moving catalysts.

At 12.30 pm, the FBM KLCI was 0.29 of a point easier at 1,770.79. The index opened 1.79 points  better at 1,772.87 this morning.

Market breadth was positive, with gainers thumped losers 419 to 304 while 319 counters unchanged. Turnover stood at 1.05 billion shares worth RM709.91mil.

PublicInvest Research said the FBM KLCI could open higher today after the lack of an escalation in US-North Korea tensions over the weekend helped to quell demand for so-called “haven assets”, following hefty gains for gold, the yen and the Swiss franc over the past few sessions. 

The apparent softening of geopolitical concerns put global equities back on an upward trajectory, with financials and technology stocks leading the way.

US markets rallied overnight amid easing geopolitical tension between the US and North Korea. Similarly, European stocks advanced after US officials played down risks of a military conflict with North Korea.

Hong Leong Investment Bank Research said sentiments on the local front are likely to remain buoyant amid the positive performance on the overnight Wall Street. 

“The FBM KLCI could trade towards the 1,775-1,780 zones over the near term. Also, the stocks within the technology sector should be able to recover higher after a sharp fall last week,” it added. 

On Bursa Malaysia, the market eased on selling in index-linked counters and key heavyweights, led by MISC and IHH Healthcare. MISC fell eight sen to RM7.30 and IHH eased four sen to RM5.96.

Shares of Lotte Chemical Titan Holdings Bhd (LCTitan) rallied to a high of RM5.25 in early trade Tuesday as investors chased up the stock following positive analyst reports. The counter rose 40 sen, or 8.51% to RM5.10 with 19.8 million shares traded. 

Its warrants saw active trade, with LCTitan-CE up 2.5 sen to 20.5 sen with 29 million shares done.

Maybank Investment Bank Research has initiated coverage on the company with a “buy” rating and target price of RM7.85.

Earlier, JP Morgan Chase & Co and HSBC have also initiated coverage on the stock. JPMorgan has a RM7 target price for Lotte with an “overweight” call while HSBC has a “buy” call with target price of RM7.60.

Elsewhere in region, Southeast Asian stock markets inched higher as North Korea’s leader signalled he would delay plans to fire a missile towards Guam, lifting investor risk appetite after a surge in tensions in the region last week.

The Hang Seng index rose 1.4% to 27,250.23 points. Japan’s Nikkei share average jumped 1.4 percent to 19,817.30 in midmorning trade.

South Korea’s KOSPI closed up 0.6% at 2,334.22 points. The CSI300 index rose 0.5% to 3,712.12 points while the Shanghai Composite Index gained 0.6% to 3,258.16. 
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