(Updated)

KLCI ends 0.28% lower on lack of catalysts

KLCI ends 0.28% lower on lack of catalysts
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KUALA LUMPUR (Dec 21): The FBM KLCI today marked its third straight day of decline, on the absence of fresh catalysts on the local bourse. It gave up 0.28% or 4.6 points to settle at 1,647.89 on market close.

Across Bursa Malaysia, 8.09 billion securities were traded for RM3.66 billion, compared to 8.06 billion securities worth RM4.4 billion last Friday. Market breadth was negative, with 848 counters ending the day in the red, versus 392 gainers and 437 that were unchanged.

Of the KLCI constituents, losers were led by Nestle (M) Bhd, which fell RM3.5 or 2.5% to close at RM137.4. This was followed by Axiata Group Bhd (down 13 sen or 3.4% to RM3.74), and Hong Leong Financial Group Bhd (down 42 sen or 2.3% to RM18.14).

Other constituents that dragged the benchmark index included CIMB Group Holdings Bhd (down eight sen or 1.8% to settle at RM4.3), Genting Bhd (down 10 sen or 2.2% to RM4.55), Tenaga Nasional Bhd (down 10 sen or 0.9% to RM10.68), and Sime Darby Bhd (down two sen or 0.9% to RM2.26).

Areca Capital Sdn Bhd CEO Danny Wong Teck Meng told theedgemarkets.com that KLCI ended today's trading session on a muted note due to the lack of fresh catalysts.  

TA Securities, meanwhile, expects the local stock market to extend profit-taking consolidation this week, following last week’s sharp pullback from its fresh 21-month high with most investors sidelined as the market approaches the Christmas holiday break.

In its daily market commentary, it picked key banking and gaming stocks as among those that should extend their profit-taking corrections from recent strong gains to neutralise overbought conditions, before investors are encouraged to return and bargain hunt again.

Across the board, top decliners included Panasonic Manufacturing Malaysia Bhd — which had to temporarily halt its operations after 116 employees tested positive for Covid-19 — Unisem (M) Bhd, Hengyuan Refining Co Bhd, Fraser and Neave Holdings Bhd, and Latitude Tree Holdings Bhd.

On the other hand, technology-related companies were among the top gainers. KESM Industries Bhd, an independent burn-in and semiconductor testing services provider, topped the list after climbing 78 sen or 6.7% to RM12.5. Other notable top gainers were UWC Bhd (up 57 sen or 5.9% to RM10.16), and Vivocom Intl Holdings Bhd (up 27.5 sen or 39% at 98 sen).

Another top gainer was Mi Technovation Bhd (up 25 sen or 6.8% to RM3.95), which announced last Friday it would buy a 99% stake in Taiwanese semiconductor firm Accurus Scientific Co Ltd for RM217 million.

The actives list was led by Ageson Bhd, with 225.26 million shares traded. It closed 0.5 sen lower at 14 sen. Other actively-traded stocks included Thrive Property Group Bhd, Sapura Energy Bhd, AT Systematization Bhd, Iris Corp Bhd, Techna-X Bhd (formerly known as Sino Hua-An International Bhd), Vivocom, TFP Solutions Bhd and Hiap Teck Ventures Bhd.

Reuters reported that Asia markets were mixed on Monday, as the Covid-19 situation remains severe in North Asian markets, which weighed on investors sentiments.

Japan's Nikkei 225 fell 0.18%, while Hong Kong’s Hang Seng Index sank 0.72%. The Shanghai Stock Exchange Composite Index, on the other hand, rose 0.76%.

Tan Choe Choe