KLCI stays above 1,500-point level as TNB and index-linked banks lift

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KUALA LUMPUR (Sept 22): The FBM KLCI stayed above the 1,500-point level before the midday break today as Tenaga Nasional Bhd (TNB) and index-linked banking stocks lifted the benchmark index.

At 12.30pm, the KLCI had risen 6.96 points to 1,506.39.

Gainers trailed losers by 253 to 359, while 711 counters traded unchanged. Trading volume was 3.48 billion shares valued at RM2.01 billion.

The gainers included Nestle (Malaysia) Bhd, Panasonic Manufacturing Malaysia Bhd, Hong Leong Financial Group Bhd, Ajinomoto (Malaysia) Bhd, TNB, Supermax Corp Bhd, Public Bank Bhd, Frontken Corp Bhd, KLCC Property Holdings Bhd, Greatech Technology Bhd and Hong Leong Bank Bhd.

The actively traded stocks included Bintai Kinden Corp Bhd, Diversified Gateway Solutions Bhd, Lambo Group Bhd, Kanger International Bhd, Vsolar Group Bhd, XOX Bhd and Parkson Holdings Bhd.

The decliners included ViTrox Corp Bhd, Carlsberg Brewery Malaysia Bhd, Sarawak Oil Palms Bhd, United Plantations Bhd, Syarikat Takaful Malaysia Keluarga Bhd and Bursa Malaysia Bhd.

Reuters said Asian shares extended losses for the second day today, while the US dollar rose, as possible delays in expanded US stimulus and concerns about fresh pandemic lockdowns in Europe knocked down investor sentiment.

Shares in HSBC and Standard Chartered fell more than 2% each in Hong Kong as global banking stocks remained under intense pressure on reports about financial institutions allegedly moving illicit funds, Reuters reported.

Hong Leong Investment Bank (HLIB) Research said taking its cue from the bearish sentiment on Wall Street and European markets, the KLCI continued to err on the side of caution in the short term amid lingering domestic headwinds, such as: i) the Sabah polls on Saturday (Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin has already hinted that a victory for Perikatan Nasional would accelerate the 15th general election); ii) liquidity dry-up amid the expiry of the six-month grace period for loan repayments (by end-September); iii) a review of Malaysia’s position in the World Government Bond Index (WGBI) on
Thursday (a potential exclusion may dampen further the fragile market sentiment, and trigger a selldown in the bond market and weaken the ringgit); and iv) concerns over the government’s major source of income following Petroliam Nasional Bhd's (Petronas) sluggish results for the first half of financial year 2020 (1HFY20).

“Nevertheless, potential 3Q20 (third quarter of 2020) window dressing activities may cushion a further slump with major support [levels] pegged at 1,484-1,474-1,461, while key resistance [levels] are situated in 1,504-1,521-1,540 territory,” it said.