FBM KLCI at year’s low in the absence of positive catalysts

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KUALA LUMPUR (March 27): The FBM KLCI continued to head south today in the absence of positive catalysts to spark buying interest.

The benchmark index closed at the lowest level this year at 1,642.73 points today, down 7.21 points or 0.44%, after it had hovered between 1,641.89 points and 1,650.22 points.

Areca Capital Sdn Bhd chief executive officer Danny Wong told theedgemarkets.com that while the Malaysian market is expected to remain volatile in the near term, investors could look for buying opportunities for companies that have a positive outlook.

“The local market remained under pressure despite overnight rebound at Dow Jones Industrial Average, because there is not much catalyst, so the near-term prospect is largely depending on external factors.

“The inverted yield curve is still there and we expect the market to remain volatile for a while, but we see some opportunity now as the market was down from its recent high,” Wong said.

He added that there are undervalued stocks with good fundamentals that are worth a second look.

In the domestic market, Bursa Malaysia saw 2.07 billion shares worth RM1.71 billion traded with 393 gainers versus 404 losers, while 365 counters remained unchanged.

Notable gainers included Lafarge Malaysia Bhd and Rapid Synergy Bhd, while losers included Public Bank Bhd and Genting Bhd.

Iris Corp Bhd was the most actively traded counter today with 97.83 million shares traded.

Reuters reported that most Southeast Asian markets are down today as investors remained concerned about a potential recession in the US, with Philippines declining to a one-week trough.

It added that sentiment remained cautious although the 10-year US Treasuries yield rose as high as 2.432% from Monday's 15-month low.

The inverted yield curve has spooked the global equity markets as such a situation preceded US recessions in the past.

Japan’s Nikkei fell 0.23% today, together with South Korean Kospi, which declined 0.15%, while Hong Kong Hang Seng Index gained 0.56%.