KUALA LUMPUR: The FBM KLCI pared some of its gains at midday break on Thursday, as some profit-taking emerged on the local bourse. At 12.30pm, the benchmark FBM KLCI rose 0.27-of a point to 1,636.96. The index opened 1.31 point higher at 1,638 this morning. Losers outpaced gainers 560 to 527, while 391 counters were unchanged. Volume stood at 3.72 billion units valued at RM2.55bil. Semiconductor-related stocks emerged as the top gainers on Bursa Malaysia at midday today. Malaysian Pacific Industries Bhd (MPI) rose to its highest in over 20 years. The semiconductor company jumped 52 sen to RM28.20. KESM Industries and Unisem are among the top gainers on Bursa Malaysia. KESM added 50 sen to RM16.10 while Unisem gained 37 sen to RM7.04. Among the losers, Nestle shed 80 sen to RM138.10, F&N fell 56 sen to RM31.92 and Rapid declined 33 sen to RM6.87. Among the glove makers, Hartalega declined 64 sen to RM12.36, Supermax fell 40 sen to RM6.71, Top Glove shed 27 sen to RM6.36 and Kossan lost 25 sen to RM4.23. Among the heavyweights, Maybank rose nine sen to RM8.39, Public Bank perked up 18 sen to RM21.58, while Petronas Chemicals bagged 13 sen to RM7.55. Rakuten Trade expects the FBM KLCI to trend at a narrow range along the 1,630/40 range today due to the lack of catalysts. It said yesterday’s strong buying on banks stocks could be a sign that foreign funds may be trickling into the local bourse following an inflow of around RM750mil since January 7. “Meanwhile, we remain positive on heightened trading activities amongst the smaller caps today,” it said. In a report, TA Securities said stocks should sustain rebound on lessening domestic political uncertainty, economic recovery hopes on vaccine deployment plans, and uptrend in crude oil prices. “Immediate resistance for the index is revised higher to 1,660, with next hurdle form 1,680, and tougher resistance from the 21-month peak of 1,695. “Supports are reset to the lows in the past two days of 1,617 and 1,590, followed by 1,574,the 50% FR of the 1,452 to 1,695 upswing, and then the 100-day moving average at1,561,” it said. On the external front, MSCI’s Asia ex-Japan stock index was firmer by 0.25% while Japan’s Nikkei 225 added 1.79% to 28,967.33. South Korea’s Kospi index fell 0.15% to 3,143.65. Hong Kong’s Hang Seng added 0.49% to 28,375.25 and China’s Shanghai Composite index was down 0.29% at 3,588.28.
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