KLCI down 0.16% on profit-taking, falling oil price

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KUALA LUMPUR (Feb 25): The FBM KLCI’s positive run after the extended Chinese New Year holiday was broken today on profit-taking activity and a renewed bearish sentiment as crude oil prices continued their downside momentum.

The local benchmark, which was in negative territory for most of the day, ended 2.82 points or 0.16% lower at 1,815.86 points.

M&A Securities Sdn Bhd head of research Rosnani Rasul told theedgemarkets.com that investors were waiting for the US fourth-quarter economic numbers, due for release this Friday.

“So, some investors might have been taking a cautious approach today,” she said over telephone.

Rosnani believed that after three trading days of positive closes, many investors were just looking to lock in gains.

However, with crude oil prices continuing to trade lower than the US$60-per-barrel level, sentiment towards oil and gas-related counters has turned “wobbly”, she said.

Brent was trading up 27 cents a barrel today at US$58.93.

Across Bursa Malaysia, some 1.7 billion shares worth RM1.91 billion were traded today. Decliners outnumbered gainers at 427 against 379.

Today’s most active entities were Asia Bioenergy Technologies Bhd, Wintoni Group Bhd, and Diversified Gateway Solutions Bhd.

Top gainers included Dutch Lady Milk Industries Bhd, Petronas Gas Bhd and Press Metal Bhd’s loan stock, while the biggest decliners were Nestle (Malaysia) Bhd, Felda Global Ventures Holdings Bhd and Genting Bhd.

Elsewhere in the region, Hong Kong’s Hang Seng Index gained 0.11% while Singapore’s Straits Times Index was up 0.12%. China’s Shanghai Composite Index lost 0.56%.

According to Reuters, Asian stocks rose on Wednesday, taking their cues from Wall Street's gains after Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen suggested the Fed would not rush into raising interest rates.

Shares extended gains after a survey of Chinese factory activity eked out a rise to a four-month high in February, though export orders shrank at their fastest rate in 20 months.