Monday, December 5, 2011

KLCI higher at mid-morning, but gains likely limited; Proton in focus

KUALA LUMPUR (Dec 5): The FBM KLCI remained in positive territory at mid-morning on Monday but gains would likely be capped as global investor sentiment remained cautious with the eurozone debt crisis situation still remaining a worrying factor.

Asian shares and the euro firmed on Monday on hopes European leaders would agree on a definitive rescue plan to solve the euro zone's debt crisis at a crucial summit this week, with sentiment getting a lift from Italy unveiling austerity steps, according to Reuters.

But investors were expected to tread cautiously and cap the markets' upside ahead of an eventful week, which also includes the European Central Bank's last monetary policy meeting for the year on Thursday, with an expectation for a rate cut, it said.

The FBM KLCI was up 1.66 points to 1,490.68 at 10am.

Gainers led losers by 213 to 169 while 206 counters traded unchanged. Volume was 478.86 million shares valued at RM206.81 million.

At the regional markets, Japan's Nikkei edged up 0.41% to 8,679.34.

Elsewhere, the Shanghai Composite Index fell 1.03% to 2,336.38, Taiwan's Taiex lost 0.95% to 7,073.13, Singapore's Straits Times was down 0.71% to 2,753.80, Hong Kong's Hap Seng fell 0.28% to 18,986.59 and South Korea's Kospi shed 0.11% to 1,913.87.

Maybank Investment Bank Bhd Research in a market strategy report on Monday said 3Q11 results reporting saw more misses than hits with major dismals from the aviation, CONSTRUCTION [] and building material sectors.

The research house said it now looked towards a 9.3% growth in 2011 core earnings for the KLCI, 7.7% in 2012 and 7.9% in 2013.

'We continue to peg the market to 13.3 times one-year forward earnings deriving an unchanged 2012 YE KLCI target of 1,500 pts.

'We expect volatility in global equities to persist into 2012 while traction on ETP implementation and an early general election will keep the market bouyant. We stay defensive,' said the research house.

On Bursa Malaysia, Proton shares were actively traded on Monday and rose after the Edge weekly reported that state investment arm Khazanah Nasional Bhd was likely to ask for proposals'' from interested parties for its stake in the carmaker.

Proton rose 59 sen to RM4.20 with 6.4 million shares traded.

Among the other gainers, Nestle added 60 sen to RM53.20, United PLANTATION []s 48 sen to RM18.58, BAT 44 sen to RM47.54, Tradewinds Plantations 16 sen to RM4.33, Fima Corp and Toyo Ink 15 sen each to RM5.80 and RM1.75, while Amway and Kretam added 14 sen each to RM9.10 and RM2.50.

The decliners included Batu Kawan, IJM Corp, Litrak, Parkson, Perak Corp, Carlsberg, Petronas Gas and Sime Darby.

Meanwhile, the actives included Proton, Compugates, DPS Resources, Sanichi and SYF Resources.

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