FBM KLCI stays in consolidation, bank results in focus

KUALA LUMPUR: The benchmark stock index is expected to remain within consolidation mode pending the results of banking heavyweights this week.

According to Apex Securities Research, there has been a dearth of fresh leads for investors, although there will be more clues this week as to the outlook of the US economy and interest rates.

"Wall Street ended slightly lower after erasing all its intraday gains with investors turning cautious ahead of a barrage of economic data as well as keynotes from Federal Reserve speakers," said the research firm in a note.

Back home, investors will be keeping an eye on the producer price index due to released later today.

"We continue to favour the transport and logistics sector with the Baltic Dry Index remained upbeat.

"With the government move to widens service tax scope to include almost all types of maintenance and repair (M&R) jobs, while it provided exemptions for certain logistics services, we expect some weakness within the consumer-related stocks," said Apex.

At 9am, the FBM KLCI was down 2.08 points to 1,545.52 as bank counters stepped bank amid caution over impending earnings.

Maybank dropped one sen to RM9.50, CIMB dipped one sne to RM6.42 and Hong Leong Bank was down eight sen to RM19.50.

AmBank, which released its results yesterday, extended its losses by another five sen to RM4.26.

PETRONAS Chemicals, which posted a set of weak earnings, dropped 24 sen to RM6.75 after having closed slightly higher yesterday.

Meanwhile, top actives were Hong Seng unchanged at two sen and Lay Hong gaining two sen to 44 sen.

Cape EMS rounded up the top three actives, following a 15.5 sen plunge in its share price to 97.5 sen after posting sharply lower profits.

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