KUALA LUMPUR (Jan 10): The FBM KLCI remained in positive territory at mid-morning on Thursday, but gains were capped as investors remained cautious.
At 10am, the FBM KLCI edged up 0.50 points to 1,690.43.
Gainers led losers by 178 to 173, while 235 counters traded unchanged. Volume was 246.24 million shares valued at RM139.82 million.
Asian shares steadied on Thursday following an overnight rise in global equities on early optimism about U.S. earnings, but investors remained cautious ahead of China's trade data and the European Central Bank meeting later in the day, according to Reuters.
Global equities rose modestly on Wednesday after aluminium maker Alcoa Inc kickstarted the U.S. earnings season with a brighter outlook for global demand. U.S. agribusiness giant Cargill Inc followed with a four-fold increase in quarterly earnings on Wednesday, it said.
At the regional markets, Japan’s Nikkei 225 rose 0.60% to 10,641.70, Hong Kong’s Hang Seng Index gained 0.22% to 23,270.60, the Shanghai Composite Index up 0.40% to 2,284.35, Taiwan’s Taiex rose 0.41% to 7,770.39, and Singapore’s Straits Times Index edged up 0.27% to 3,228.95, while South Korea’s Kospi fell 0.08% to 1,990.13.
M&A Securities Research in a note Thursday said that institutional buying dominated trade a day earlier when volume rose slightly to 1.1 billion from 1.03 billion but value traded dropped to RM1.59 billion from RM1.7 billion.
The research house said that for defensive strategy, it advocated investors to switch from high Betas like Property, Construction and Finance stocks to low Betas like Consumer, Plantation, Oil & Gas, Telco, Education, Healthcare and Rubber counters.
“Amongst the finance stocks, only Public Bank and Hong Leong are most likely more defensive than the other big cap finance stocks,” it said.
Among the gainers at mid-morning on Bursa Malaysia, KLK rose 14 sen to RM22.68, Takaful, DRB-Hicom, Aeon Credit and BAT added 10 sen each to RM5.71, RM2.73, RM12.10 and RM60.98 respectively. Hing Yp and Mudajaya rose seven sen each to RM2.70 and RM2.75, Paramount six sen RM1.61 and Eversendai five sen to RM1.33.
The losers included Lafarge Malayan Cement, Tasek, Genting, Milux, AirAsia, Genting Property, KSL, PPB and Kotra.
The actives included Etitech, Flonic, Silver Bird, DRB-Hicom, Scomi and Nextnation.