FBM KLCI extends losses amid muted regional markets

FBM KLCI extends losses amid muted regional markets
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KUALA LUMPUR (Feb 17): The FBM KLCI continued to extend its losses today, with the broader market barely in positive territory today.

At market close, the local benchmark index finished 0.68% or 10.85 points lower at 1,595.29, led by selldowns in Axiata Group Bhd, Hap Seng Consolidated Bhd and Petronas Chemicals Group Bhd (PetChem).

Shares in Axiata declined by 4.78% or 17 sen to RM3.38, valuing the telco at RM30.99 billion, while Hap Seng Consolidated was down 3.43% or 28 sen at RM7.88, translating into a market capitalisation of RM19.62 billion. PetChem closed 2.84% or 22 sen lower at RM7.53, giving it RM60.24 billion in market capitalisation.

“Resurgent buying momentum in oil and gas-related stocks should encourage stronger retail participation, helped further by improving global sentiment as vaccine progress fuels recovery hopes.

"Immediate overhead resistance for the index stays at the 50-day moving average at 1,618, with stronger hurdles coming from 1,660 and 1,680. Key uptrend support will be the 100-day moving average at 1,574, with better supports at 1,550 and the 200-day ma at 1,544,” TA Securities Research said in a note today.

The FBM KLCI's decline today was in line with those seen among other regional indices. Japan's Nikkei 225 was down 0.58% or 175.56 points at 30,292.19. South Korea's Kospi was down 0.93% or 29.52 points at 3,133.73.

Meanwhile, the Hong Kong's Hang Seng was up 1.10% or 338.28 points at 31,084.94. Markets in Mainland China are closed for the Lunar New Year holiday.

According to Reuters, Malaysia’s FBM KLCI closed lower following the extension of the movement control order in Selangor, Kuala Lumpur, Johor and Penang.

“Most Asian markets were hobbled by a firm [US] dollar, which benefited from benchmark ten-year US Treasury yields rising to their highest in a year on expectations of a stimulus-led economic recovery and lift-off in inflation,” it reported.

Across the local bourse, 10.14 billion shares worth RM5.23 billion were traded today.  

Market breadth was barely in positive territory, with 536 counters up versus the 529 counters that declined and 551 counters that went unchanged.

Top actives included DGB Asia Bhd, Sapura Energy Bhd and Dagang NeXchange Bhd. Top value gainers today were Carlsberg Brewery Malaysia Bhd, CI Holdings Bhd and Nestle Malaysia Bhd. In terms of top losers, Malaysian Pacific Industries Bhd, Heineken Malaysia Bhd and Hong Leong Financial Group Bhd made the top three.

Lam Jian Wyn