Limited gains for KLCI, ringgit stays weak

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KUALA LUMPUR (Jan 21): The FBM KLCI posted limited gains at the midday break on Wednesday while the ringgit continued its dismal run against the US dollar.

At 12.30pm, the FBM KLCI was up 0.35% or 6.13 points to 1,756.24. The index had earlier risen to a high of 1,758.89.

Market breadth was mixed with 364 gainers and 286 losers, while 313 counters traded unchanged. Volume was 1.12 billion shares valued at RM994.28 million.

Meanwhile, the ringgit weakened 0.39% against the greenback and was quoted at 3.6215 versus the US dollar.

The top gainers included British American Tobacco (M) Bhd, Danainfra Nasional Bhd, DKSH Holdings Bhd, Genting Plantations Bhd, Dutch Lady Milk Industries Bhd, Aeon Credit Services (M) Bhd, MISC Bhd, Eco World Development Group Bhd, Genting Bhd and PPB Group Bhd.

The Media Shoppe Bhd was the most actively traded counter with 67.87 million shares done. The stock surged 33.33% or 1.5 sen to 6 sen.
The other actives included Iris Corporation Bhd, KNM Group Bhd, Sumatec Resources Bhd, Sanichi Technology Bhd, Hubline Bhd and IFCA MSC Bhd.

The decliners included Panasonic Malaysia Manufacturing Bhd, Tasek Corporation Bhd, Harbour-Link Group Bhd, WZ Satu Bhd, Syarikat Takaful Malaysia Bhd, RHB Capital Bhd, Scientex Bhd and Cahya Mata Sarawak Bhd.

Asian shares held firm and the euro stayed under pressure on Wednesday as investors counted on the European Central Bank to unveil a stimulus drive, while the yen was subdued ahead of the Bank of Japan's policy announcement later in the Asian day, according to Reuters.

MSCI's broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan rose 0.8 percent to hit its highest level in six weeks, it said.

Japan's Nikkei bucked the trend, slipped 0.5 percent from a two-week closing high hit on Tuesday after heavy gains the previous two sessions, said Reuters.

Maybank IB head of retail research and chief chartist Lee Cheng Hooi said the FBM KLCI fell 3.20 points to 1,750.11 yesterday, while the FBMEMAS and FBM100 also closed lower by 10.72 points and 17.23 points, respectively.

In a note to clients Wednesday, he said that in terms of market breadth, the gainer-to-loser ratio was 420-to-388 while 290 counters were unchanged, adding that a total of 2.05 billion shares were traded valued at RM2.02 billion.

"We recommend a “Nibble on Dips” stance for the index. The KLCI Jan Futures moved into a 4.11-point discount against the FBMKLCI. We expect minor nibbling at the supports of 1,726 to 1,745, whilst heavy profit taking would be at the resistances of 1,750 and 1,770.

"The index will be volatile after heavy foreign selling emerged in Nov and the index plunged to a fresh low of 1,671.82 on 17 Dec.

"The window dressing rebound phase could have stalled at 1,770.52 (30 Dec). In view of the volatile and weaker DJIA trend at lofty levels, it will be very wise to range trade the FBMKLCI between stipulated supports and resistances," it said.