KLCI claws back to positive territory as CPO holds above RM3,000 level, plantation stocks lift

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KUALA LUMPUR (Sept 21): The FBM KLCI clawed back to positive territory at the midday break Monday, as crude palm oil held above the RM3,000 level and index-linked plantation stocks lifted.

At 12.30pm, the FBM KLCI gained 1.04 points to 1,507.67. The index had earlier slipped to a low of 1,501.77.

Losers led gainers by 388 to 295, while 677 counters traded unchanged. Trading volume was 3.60 billion shares valued at RM1.64 billion.

The gainers included Scientex Bhd, United Plantations Bhd, Kuala Lumpur Kepong Bhd, MMAG Holdings Bhd, PPB Group Bhd, Amanah Harta Tanah PNB, Aeon Credit Service (M) Bhd, Malaysian Pacific Industries Bhd, Carlsberg Brewery Malaysia Bhd and Sarawak Oil Palms Bhd.

The actively traded stocks included Metronic Global Bhd, Rimbunan Sawit Bhd, HB Global Bhd, Sapura Energy Bhd, Iris Corp Bhd, TDM Bhd and Jaya Tiasa Holdings Bhd.

The decliners included Petronas Dagangan Bhd, Fraser & Neave Holdings Bhd, Hong Leong Financial Group Bhd, Supermax Corp Bhd, Mega First Corp Bhd, Harrisons Holdings (M) Bhd and Sern Kou Resources Bhd.

Reuters said Asian shares and most currencies held tight ranges on Monday, as investors awaited developments on US fiscal stimulus and coronavirus vaccines amid a resurgence of infections in Europe.

MSCI's broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan was 0.1% weaker, though it was not too far from a June 2018 peak at 568.84, it said.

Hong Leong IB Research said it continues to err on the side of caution in the short term on the back of local uncertainties ahead of the Sabah polls on Sept 26 (adding that Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin has already signalled that a victory will accelerate the GE15), liquidity dry-up amid the expiry of the six-month grace period for loan repayments (by end-September), the review on Malaysia’s position in the World Government Bond Index (WGBI) by end-September and the lingering concern over the government’s major source of income following Petronas' sluggish 1HFY20 results.

“Nevertheless, potential 3Q20 window dressing activities may cushion further slump with major supports pegged at 1,500-1,487-1,474 whilst key resistances fall on 1,521-1,529-1,543,” it said.