KLCI wavers early Monday, key Asian markets down

KUALA LUMPUR: Blue chips wavered early Monday while key Asian markets fell as investors worried the US Federal Reserve could raise interest rates and this could see funds shifting out of equities into bonds.

At 9.51am, the FBM KLCI was up 0.34 points or 0.02% to 1,846.73. Turnover was 471.96 million shares valued at RM162.56mil. There were 192 gainers, 299 losers and 304 counters unchanged.

Asian share markets slipped into the red on Monday as caution gripped investors in a week in which the Federal Reserve is likely to hike US interest rates and perhaps signal that as many as three more lie in store for the rest of the year, Reuters reported.

Japan's Nikkei extended early losses to drop 1.3% as exporters were undermined by recent broad-based gains in the yen.

MSCI's broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan eased 0.5%, while Australia's main index lost 0.2%.

At Bursa Malaysia, Nestle fell RM2.40 to RM128.60, Dutch Lady 98 sen to RM66.52, Heineken 70 sen to RM20.70, Ajinomoto 34 sen lower at RM22.12 and BAT 18 sen lower at RM27.50. However, F&N gained 18 sen to RM32 and Brahims 12.5 sen to 45.5 sen.

Petron lost 10 sen to RM9.60, MPI nine sen to RM9.46 and Hartalega eight sen to RM11.72.

Magni-Tech was the top gainer, up 40 sen to RM5.46. Scientex 15 sen to RM8.20, LC Titan gained 10 sen to RM6.29, VS Industry nine sen to RM2.74 while Borneo Aqua Harvest and Pos Malaysia added eight sen each to RM1.41 and RM3.90.