KLCI closes marginally higher, sentiment remains fragile

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KUALA LUMPUR (March 26): The FBM KLCI closed marginally higher today although investors continued to be jittery after the US yield curve inverted last Friday for the first time since 2007.

The benchmark index finished 0.79 points or 0.05% higher at 1,649.94 after moving between 1,647.11 and 1,653.58. Across Bursa Malaysia, 2.47 billion shares worth RM1.77 billion were transacted.

TA Securities technical analyst Steven Soo told theedgemarkets.com that the Malaysian market is expected to remain under pressure as the sentiment remains fragile.

He added the market will continue to look wobbly as investors  keep an eye on the inverted yield curve, which could be a signal of a further weakening in global economic growth moving forward.

“For the KLCI, which has broken the 1,657 support level previously, the immediate support level is 1,626 and the resistance level is 1,680,” Soo said, adding that the index will continue to move sideways with potential downside risk going forward.

Meanwhile, Soo highlighted that the construction and oil and gas sectors will offer great upside potential going forward. The ECRL project revival could be a positive catalyst to further boost construction stocks while the oil and gas stocks are poised to rebound on higher global oil prices, he said.

Elsewhere in Asia, Reuters reported that shares drifted higher after two days of losses as US 10-year Treasury yields edged up, but the outlook remained murky as investors weighed the odds of whether the US economy is in danger of slipping into recession.

Japan’s Nikkei 225 led gains, rose 2.15% — having dived 3% on Monday — while Hong Kong edged 0.15% higher.

However, South Korea's Kospi lost 2.18% and  China's Shanghai Stock Exchange Composite declined 1.51%.