At 9.42am, the FBM KLCI was down 4.87 points or 0.28% to 1,721.31. Turnover was 879.88 million shares valued at RM384.48mil. There were 216 gainers, 300 losers and 284 counters unchanged.
Asian shares held near 4-1/2-month highs after US Federal Reserve minutes affirmed it would be "patient" on interest rate rises and risk assets got a lift from hopes of further progress in US-China trade talks, Reuters reported.
MSCI's broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan were steady in early trade, hovering just off their highest since early October. Japan's Nikkei was down 0.3% after closing at a two-month high during the previous session.
On the technical outlook for the KLCI, Kenanga Investment Bank Research said shart-wise, the index has formed two long bullish candlesticks, having broken above its 100-day SMA which could indicate a shift in momentum.
“Key momentum indicators have also started to show positive signals further suggesting potential upside.
“From here, continued positive global developments could lead the index trend higher to its resistances at 1,730 (R1) and 1,800 (R2). Should the index trend lower, support levels can be identified at 1,650 (S1) and 1,600 (S2),” it said.
Petronas Chemical and Tenaga Nasional lost 10 sen each to RM9.05 and RM13.28 while IOI Corp was down nine sen to RM4.64.
F&N was the top loser, down 20 sen to RM35.70, MSM skidded 17 sen to RM2.23 and Teo Seng nine sen lower at RM1.23.
KESM fell 15 sen to RM9.12, UEM Edgenta and Sarawak Oil Palm seven sen lower at RM2.82 and RM2.61.
Bumi Armada lost two sen to 20.5 sen and it was the most active with 163 million shares done.
CIMB Equities Research has reduced its target price for Bumi Armada to 30 sen from its earlier 70 sen on the possibility it may need more equity if it hopes to grow its portfolio of FPSO assets, or if banks fail to agree on an extension to its debt repayment.
Carlsberg was the top gainer, up 42 sen to RM24.16 and Heineken 32 sen to RM23.18.
United Plantations gained 26 sen to RM26.50, HL Industries 15 sen to RM9.80 and Aeon Credit 10 sen to RM187.10 while SAM Engineering gained eight sen to RM7.72.
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