KLCI flat on lack of leads at midday

KUALA LUMPUR: Share prices on Bursa Malaysia ended the half-day trading session marginally lower on lack of catalyst and ahead of the long weekend.

At 12.30pm, the benchmarch FTSE Bursa Malaysia KLCI finished at 1,785.68, down 0.63 of-a-point, after moving between 1,780.20 and 1,787.01. 

In the broader market, losers outpaced gainers 387 to 359 while 349 counters were unchanged. Turnover stood at 1.04 billion shares worth RM629.9mil.

Bursa Malaysia and its subsidiaries will be closed on Sept 22 in conjunction with Awal Muharram.

US markets rallied to record highs on Friday led by technology and financial counters. European stocks, however, tumbled after North Korea fired another missile over Japan and a terrorist attack in London.

Hong Leong Investment Bank Research (HLIB) said buying support may extend amid subsiding concerns over North Korea.

“We may expect some slowdown in trading activities on the overseas market ahead of the FOMC meeting as investors may wait for further confirmation on interest rates hike. Nevertheless, short term uptrend remains intact for the Dow towards the 22,500 level.

“Meanwhile, with the rebound on the local front last week, buying interest is likely to sustain throughout this week and KLCI could revisit the resistance along 1,790-1,800. Also, we could anticipate traders to focus on oil and gas shares amid a steadier recovery in Brent oil prices,” HLIB said. 

On Bursa Malaysia, United Plantations was the top gainer, up 42 sen to RM27.42, Petron Malaysia rose 32 sen to RM10.22 while Lafarge Malaysia added 21 sen to RM6.71. 

The top losers included Panasonic Manufacturing , KESM and Dutch Lady. 

Among the banks, Maybank gained 10 sen to RM9.801, Public Bank added six sen to RM20.60 and CIMB fell eight sen to RM6.67.

Elsewhere in the region, Asian shares closed higher with Japan’s Nikkei Stock Average rose 0.5%, South Korea’s Kospi rose 1.1%, the Hang Seng Index in Hong Kong gained 1.1% and China’s blue-chip CSI300 index added 0.5%.