Select blue chips lift KLCI at midday break

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KUALA LUMPUR (Jan 19): The FBM KLCI rose at the midday break on Monday, in line with the higher regional markets, lifted by select blue chips including SapuraKencana Petroleum Bhd, Malayan Banking Bhd and Genting Bhd.

At 12.30pm, the FBM KLCI was up 5.92 points to 1,749.49.

Gainers led losers by 410 to 251,while 302 counters traded unchanged. Volume was 957.62 million shares valued at RM671.73 million.

The top gainers included Dutch Lady Milk Industries Bhd, LTKM Bhd, UMW Oil and Gas Corporation Bhd, Coastal Contracts Bhd, SapuraKencana, Uzma Bhd, Maybank, Genting, Nestle (M) Bhd and Aeon Credit Services (M) Bhd.

The actively traded stocks included Hubline Bhd, KNM Group Bhd, Sumatec Resources Bhd, Bumi Armada Bhd, Minetech Resources Bhd, Icon Offshore Bhd and Berjaya Corporation Bhd.

The top losers included British American Tobacco (M) Bhd, United Plantations Bhd, PPB Group Bhd, Kuala Lumpur Kepong Bhd, Genting Plantations Bhd and Hong Leong Financial Group Bhd.

Most Asian share markets followed Wall Street higher on Monday, though investors were wary of being disappointed yet again by economic data from China and policy stimulus in the euro zone, according to Reuters.

Adding to the air of caution was a retreat in Chinese equities, in part on news the securities regulator had barred three major brokerages from opening new margin trading accounts for clients for three months, it said.

An explosion in margin trading is one reason China stocks soared in recent months and shares in the brokers opened sharply lower. The Shanghai market shed 3.9 percent, while the CSI300 index of the largest listed companies in Shanghai and Shenzhen slid 4.2 percent, said Reuters.

According to Hong Leong IB Research, all eyes are focused on the release of a restructured Budget 2015 on Jan 20.

The research house said a positive announcement would spur the index higher to reclaim 1,763 (10-week moving average) and 1770 (monthly high) levels, respectively.

“Key short term supports are situated at 1,732 (20-day moving average and 38.2%) and 1,720 (50% FR),” it said.