KLCI erases earlier losses as Q4 GDP beats estimates

  • Markets
  • Thursday, 14 Feb 2019

KUALA LUMPUR: The FBM KLCI erased earlier losses by midday as Bank Negara announced a better-than-expected gross domestic product for Q4 2018.

Malaysia's economy expanded at 4.7% in the recent quarter, which was above Bloomberg's survey of 4.5% growth after moderation in two consecutive quarters.

At 12.30pm, the index returned from the red to end the morning flat at 1,685.31 points. Trading volume was 1.97 billion shares valued at RM945.83mil. There were 362 decliners veruss 291 gainers and 368 counters unchanged.

While investors have turned to developments in Beijing where senior Washington delegates have descended to begin trade negotiations, the local market has been slow to react, keeping to a sideways trading channel until more concrete developments are announced.

Based on the technical chart, the FBM KLCI remains skirting the 50-day simple moving average, which has served as a safety for investors. Negative news coming out of Beijing may send the index below the moving average and into the control of the bears.

The 30 counters listed on the KLCI showed little movement in the morning session. IHH led the advance with a four sen rise to RM5.61.

Genting grew five sen to RM7.11 while Genting Malaysia gained three sen to RM3.32.

Meanwhile, MAHB slid six sen to RM7.88, Press Metal lost three sen to RM4.07 and Tenaga Nasional slipped two sen to RM13.04.

On the wider stock exchange, most active counters were Sapura Energy gaining two sen to 29.5 sen, KNM climbing two sen to 11 sen and Bumi Armada adding one sen to 23.5 sen.

Consumer stocks saw some buying interest as F&N rose 62 sen to RM33.90, Carlsberg gained 50 sen to RM21.26 and Dutch Lady added 48 sen to RM62.76.

While investors held fast to equities, there was more bullish sentiment on crude oil as China's oil imports exceeded forecasts.

US crude rose 28 cents to US$54.18 a barrel and Brent crude gained 37 cents to US$63.98 a barrel.

The ringgit was little changed against the greenback at 4.0668 but rose 0.3% against the pound sterling at 5.2313 and 0.2% against the Singapore dollar at 2.9955.
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