Lacklustre start for Bursa ahead of US-China talks, Fed rate

KUALA LUMPUR: Bursa Malaysia kicked of the new week on Monday on a lacklustre note, in line with key Asian markets, ahead of the US Federal Reserve meeting and US-China trade talks.

At 9.30am, the FBM KLCI was down 0.88 of a point or 0.05% to 1,647.08. Turnover was 442.98 million shares valued at RM236.01mil. There were 197 gainers, 235 losers and 277 counters unchanged.

Reuters reported Asian shares got off to a cautious start as markets count down to a likely cut in US interest rates this week with much riding on whether or not the Federal Reserve signals yet more are in the pipeline.

US and Chinese trade negotiators also meet in Shanghai this week for their first in-person talks since a G20 truce last month, but expectations are low for a breakthrough, Reuters reported.

MSCI's broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan was all but flat in slow trade. Japan's Nikkei dipped 0.1% and E-Mini futures for the S&P 500 lost 0.06%.

At Bursa, BAT extended its fall, down 72 sen to RM25.48 after last week’s weak earnings. F&N was down 18 sen to RM34.20.

KL Kepong lost 40 sen to RM23.16 in thin trade with just 200 shares done while insurer LPI fell 22 sen to RM15.60 and Public Bank 12 sen to RM22.30.

Telekom Malaysia fell 11 sen to RM4.09 with 2.12 million shares done. CGS-CIMB Research is retaining its TP of RM3.40 as it expects lower earnings in FY19-21F on lower Streamyx average revenue per user.

"The telco cut its 8Mbps Streamyx price by 44% to RM89 a month; existing subscribers to pay RM69. New network rollout plan to address slow Streamyx speeds by 2021.

“Our FY19-21F core EPS/fair value may be reduced by 5%-13%/5%,” CGS-CIMB Research said.

Nestle was the top gainer, up RM1.20 to RM149 while Ajinomoto gained 34 sen to RM17.50 and MSM 23 sen to RM1.61 while Carlsberg was up 22 sen to RM24.88.

AirAsia rose 13 sen to RM2.08 with 17.2 million shares done on the expectations of the bumper dividend payout.
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