KLCI reverses loss but broader sentiment stays tepid

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KUALA LUMPUR (July 31): The FBM KLCI reversed its earlier losses at the midday break today, lifted by select index-linked blue chips, but the broader market sentiment remained tepid, tracking regional markets.

At 12.30pm, the FBM KLCI was up 0.23 points to 1,770.49. The index had earlier slipped to its intra-morning low of 1,764.21.

Losers led gainers by 332 to 235, while 557 counters traded unchanged. Volume was 1.42 billion shares valued at RM896.78 million.

The gainers included Chin Teck Plantations Bhd, Analabs Resources Bhd, Petronas Gas Bhd, Ajinomoto (M) Bhd, Press Metal Aluminium Holdings Bhd, Petron Malaysia Refining & Marketing Bhd, Malaysian Pacific Industries Bhd, AirAsia Bhd and Dialog Group Bhd.

The actives included XOX Bhd, Vivocom International Holdings Bhd, My E.G. Services Bhd, Sapura Energy Bhd, UCrest Bhd, Puncak Niaga Holdings Bhd, Iris Corp Bhd and JAKS Resources Bhd.

The losers included British American Tobacco (M) Bhd, Hong Leong Industries Bhd, Lafarge Malaysia Bhd, Time dotCom Bhd, IHH Healthcare Bhd, KESM Industries Bhd, Cahya Mata Sarawak Bhd, Bintulu Port Holdings Bhd, Hong Leong Financial Group Bhd and Cycle & Carriage Bintang Bhd.

Most Asian stocks fell Tuesday after technology bellwethers led a retreat in US stocks and more signs emerged of softening Chinese economic growth. The yen was flat as traders awaited the outcome of the Bank of Japan policy meeting, according to Bloomberg.

Equities declined in Japan and Hong Kong, while they were little changed in South Korea, Australia and China. Earlier, the Nasdaq Composite Index sank 1.4% with the FAANG cohort of tech megacaps tumbling almost 3%, led by Netflix Inc. The US dollar steadied and Treasuries were little changed, while oil held above US$70 a barrel, it said.

CIMB Retail Research said the FBM KLCI index was flat on Monday despite the sharp decline seen in the Nasdaq Composite Index overnight.

It said market breadth remained negative with 1.6 losers for every winner, suggesting that the current uptrend's 'internals' are weakening.

"Investors may continue to stay cautious today ahead of the FOMC meeting and other central bank monetary policy meetings later this week.

"Hence, both blue chips and lower liners stocks could potentially remain sluggish today.

"Resistance: 1,780 & 1,800. Supports: 1,748 & 1,735," itsaid.