Friday, December 17, 2010

FBM KLCI rebounds but stays shy of 1,500-point mark

KUALA LUMPUR: Key regional markets remained mixed in early trade on Friday, Dec 17, while FBM KLCI clawed back into positive territory at mid-morning, lifted by gains at key blue chips including Genting, Maybank, Tenaga and Gamuda.

Several Asian markets advanced as the US economy showed new signs the recovery was gaining traction with data on Thursday that new claims for jobless aid fell last week and factory activity in the Mid-Atlantic region grew at its quickest pace in more than five and a half years this month, according to Reuters.

A'' US$858 billion tax cut package brokered between President Barack Obama and Republicans cleared a key test vote in the US House of Representatives on Thursday, after hours of delays, it said.

On Bursa Malaysia, the FBM KLCI rose 1.56 points to 1,499.08. Gainers led losers by 249 to 132, while 199 counters traded unchanged. Volume was 217.62 million shares valued at RM218.99 million.

At the regional markets, the South Korean Kospi added 0.61% to 2,021.59, Taiwan's Taiex rose 0.52% to 8,827/49, Singapore's Straits Times Index was up 0.25% to 3,155.56 while the Hong Kong Hang Seng Index was little changed at 22,662.86.

Meanwhile, the Shanghai Composite Index fell 0.235 to 2,891.57 and Japan's Nikkei 225 shed 0.10% to 10,300.86.

Maybank Investment Bank Bhd head of retail research and chief chartist Lee Cheng Hooi in a note Dec 17 said that despite the marginally firmer US markets last night, the FBM KLCI could be in a range trading mode, with initial nibbling activities that may fizzle out in the later part of the day on pre-weekend profit-taking.

He said the FBM KLCI created a new all-time peak at 1,531.99 on Nov 10, and a temporary correction low had been formed at 1,474.02 on Nov 29.

'The FBM KLCI remains trapped between the low of 1,474 and the high of 1,531 for now, with some further downside potential as we broke below the interim 1,504-support level,' he said.

Among the major gainers in early trade, Genting was up six sen to RM10.62, Genting Malaysia rose five sen to RM3.39, Maybank, Tenaga and Gamuda added two sen each to RM8.53, RM8.29 and RM3.75 respectively, while MMC Corp gained four sen to RM2.84.

MTD Capital jumped 10 sen to RM8.61 on getting the nod to raise toll rates on the South Luzon Expressway in the Philippines, while MAA Holdings' shares advanced eight sen to 70.5 sen on getting Bank Negara's approval to proceed with talks to dispose its stake in its insurance unit.

Sozo Global made a lackluster debut on the Main Market of Bursa Malaysia and was down 1.5 sen to 78.5 sen with 15.75 million shares done.

Among the actively traded stocks at mid-morning were MAA Holdings, KUB, Pentamaster, SAAG and Scomi Marine, which advanced three sen to 57 sen after its proposed to dispose four of its marine logistics companies to its 80.54%-owned subsidiary PT Rig Tenders Indonesia Tbk for RM538.3 million.

Decliners included AMMB, Berjaya Sports Toto, Boustead, Mentiga, Quality Concrete and Turiya.

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