Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Banks, blue chips weigh KLCI down at mid-morning

KUALA LUMPUR (Jan 3): The FBM KLCI bucked the regional trend and retreated on the first trading day of 2012, and slipped 8.62 points to 1,522.11 at mid-morning, weighed by banking and select blue chip stocks.

Gainers led losers by 223 to 160, while 212 counters traded unchanged. Volume was 325.47 million shares valued at RM182.34 million.

At the regional markets, Hong Kong's Hang Seng Index jumped 1.7% to 18,747.83, South Korea's Kospi rose 1.97% to 1,862.38, Taiwan's Taiex added 1.4% to 7,049.28 while Singapore's Straits Times Index gained 0.62% to 2,662.78.

The China and Japan markets are closed today for holidays.

OSK Research director Chris Eng in his January outlook report said the research house's expectation of a December rally proved correct as the FBM KLCI raced up in the final trading week of 2011 to end at 1530.73 points, less than 3 points shy of its 2011 year-end target.

'We stand by our earlier strategy that investors should 'Remain Defensive, Sell' when KLCI breaks above 1,500 pts, and Buy as the index approaches 1,300 points'.

'As such, we have a Sell call on the market for January,' he said.

Eng said the KLCI was overpriced and lacking fundamentals to sustain at this level.

'With 3 of our 5 Top Dec buys having outperformed the KLCI, we are switching to the more unconventional small cap buys for January given our broader market Sell call.

Among the decliners at mid-morning, Public Bank fell 22 sen to RM13.16, CIMB 17 sen to RM7.27, while Maybank and RHB Capital lost 13 sen each to RM8.45 and RM7.35.

Other losers included Nestle that fell 20 sen to RM56, BAT 16 sen to RM49.76, KrisAssets 15 sen to RM6.10, Batu Kawan 14 sen to RM17.32, while Ewein and Lafarge Malayan Cement fell 10 sen each to 80 sen and RM6.90.

Allianz led the gainers and was up 60 sen to RM5.35; United PLANTATION []s gained 20 sen to RM19.20, Aeon 16 sen to RM7.40, Hibiscus 12.5 sen to RM1.07, Proton 12 sen to RM4.94, Supermax and Tradewinds Plantations 11 sen each to RM3.94 and RM4.45, while MAHB, Malayan Flour Mills and KLK added 10 sen each to RM5.90, RM7.30 and RM22.80 respectively.

The actives included Hibiscus, JCY, IRCB, Proton, Sanichi and TMS.

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