KLCI breaks below 1,500 level

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KUALA LUMPUR (Feb 24): The FBM KLCI fell below the critical support level of 1,500 in early trade, with plantation counters being the main drag on the benchmark index, while fears over the Covid-19 virus continue to spread around the world, which also hit sentiment.

The benchmark index, which opened lower at 1,501.47 this morning, plunged to as low as 1,497.19 after falling 2.2%, the lowest point since Dec 21, 2011's 1,500.91. At 10.30am, the FBM KLCI stood at 1,507.69, 1.54% or 23.51 points lower compared to last Friday's close of 1,531.20.

Year to date, The KLCI fell 5.1% or 81.16 points from 1,588.76 on Dec 31, 2019.

Among the 30 component stocks, the top losers were led by plantation counters, such as Kuala Lumpur Kepong Bhd (KLK), Sime Darby Plantation Bhd, PPB Group Bhd and IOI Corp.

KLK's share price fell 4.48% or RM1.04 to RM22.16, while Sime Darby Plantation sank 2.77% or 14 sen to RM4.91. PPB shares declined 3.35% or 62 sen to RM17.88 and IOI Corp went down 2.7% or 12 sen to RM4.33.

Market breadth was negative with 814 losers and 104 gainers, while 180 counters traded unchanged. Volume was 1.46 billion shares valued at RM1.23 billion.

On the currency front, the ringgit is weakening against the greenback. At 10.40am, the ringgit was 4.2188 against the US dollar, after falling 0.65% to a near six-month low.

When contacted, TA Securities Holdings Bhd technical analyst Steven Soo told theedgemarkets.com that he sees more downside risk on KLCI as the political uncertainty would weigh on the market’s outlook.