KUALA LUMPUR: The FBM KLCI spent the morning session vacillating between gains and losses before closing marginally higher at midday.
The benchmark index added a negligible 0.2 of a point to 1,442.17. It opened 0.65 of a point lower at 1,441.32 this morning.
There were 406 stocks advancing against 383 stocks declining while 387 counters were unchanged. Volume declined to 2.31 billion units worth RM1.32bil.
Among the gainers on Bursa Malaysia, United Plantations jumped 36 sen to RM16.86, Malaysian Pacific Industries rose 26 sen to RM26.98, Apollo Food added 25 sen to RM5.46 and PPB gained 24 sen to RM14.42.
Meanwhile, the top decliner was Kuala Lumpur Kepong, which lost 18 sen to RM21.34. Sam Engineering fell 17 sen to RM4.05, Carlsberg eased eight sen to RM19 and K. Seng Seng gave up eight sen to 87 sen.
Inter-Pacific Research said the near-term market outlook is likely to remain “morbid” due to the lack of fresh buying interest, coupled with few impetuses.
The research house said the key index is finding it difficult to regain traction with most market players preferring to stay on the sidelines and this could continue to see the FBM KLCI on a drifting mode for longer.
“This also means that the key index will continue to decouple from the performances of key global stock indices and retain its insipid trend,” it said.
“As a result, the 1,440 support remains under threat and the window dressing activities could also be in the backburner for the time being.
“Below the 1,440 level, the supports are at 1,435 points and at the 200-day moving average line at 1,431 points. The near-term resistances, meanwhile, are at 1,444 points and the psychological 1,450 points respectively,” Inter-Pacific said.
Hong Leong Investment Bank Research (HLIB Research) said the FBM KLCI KLCI may continue its sideways consolidation as investors await more cues of inflation and interest rates outlook from the major global central banks this week.
“Barring a decisive fall below 1,442 (uptrend line support), the odds would still favour the bulls to resume its ascent in Dec,” it said.
HLIB Research said the optimism is supported by (i) expectations that the Fed has ended its rate hike cycle and optimism of a soft landing in the US economy; (ii) statistically the traditional yearend window dressing effect; (iii) an uptick in November shareholding from all-time low in October, (iv) improved core corporate earnings outlook -0.3%/+8.0% for CY23/24, accompanied by end-2023/2024 KLCI targets at 1,490/1,540 levels and (v) easing political risk premium and increasing foreign perception of Malaysia’s investability.