KLCI chalks up marginal gains, banks lift

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KUALA LUMPUR (Jan 15): The FBM KLCI chalked up marginal gains at the midday break on Thursday, in line with the slight uptrend at regional markets.

At 12.30pm, the FBM KLCI was up 3.34 points to 1,745.35, lifted by select blue chips including index-linked banking stocks. The index had earlier dipped to its intra-morning low of 1,738.24.

Market breadth was somewhat negative with losers leading gainers by 335 to 302, while 262 counters traded unchanged. Volume was 951.68 million shares valued at RM1.12 billion.

The top gainers included Malayan Banking Bhd, CIMB Group Holdings Bhd, RHB Capital Bhd, Tasek Corporation Bhd, Dutch Lady Milk Industries Bhd, LPI Capital Bhd, DRB-Hicom Bhd, Coastal Contracts Bhd and Public Bank Bhd.

Minetech Resources Bhd was the most actively traded counter with 49.04 million shares done. The stock rose 4.76% or half a sen to 11 sen.

The other actives included CIMB, Malayan United Industries Bhd, Hubline Bhd, KNM Group Bhd, Kronologi Asia Bhd, Daya Materials Bhd, Sumatec Resources Bhd and Pasukhas Group Bhd.

The losers included Oriental Interest Bhd, Genting Bhd, Genting Plantations Bhd, British American Tobacco (M) Bhd, KLCC Property Holdings Bhd, Hong Leong Financial Group Bhd, Kuala Lumpur Kepong Bhd, Tenaga Nasional Bhd and Amway (M) Holdings Bhd.

Asian stocks pared earlier losses and edged up on Thursday after a significant rebound in oil prices brought a semblance of calm, but global growth worries remained after weak U.S. retail sales data compounded concerns over plunging copper prices, according to Reuters.

MSCI's broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan inched up 0.1 percent, it said.

Japan's Nikkei bounced 1.5 percent and the Shanghai Composite Index climbed 0.6 percent, said Reuters.

AffinHwang Capital Research said the FBM KLCI’s weekly chart indicated that market was taking a breather from recent plunges and rebounds.

It said the bias remained downwards as equity market in the U.S particularly S&P 500 had started to show a “lethargic” underlying strength.

“Strong resistance for the FBM KLCI is anticipated to appear at 1770 – 1820 range.

“Technically, the index is anticipated to consolidate sideways with downward bias until the next bullish catalysts emerge,” it said.