KLCI dips 0.21% as Hartalega, Public Bank and MAHB drag

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KUALA LUMPUR (May 16): The FBM KLCI dipped 0.21% in early trade this morning as regional markets traded mixed and index-linked Hartalega Holdings Bhd, Public Bank Bhd and Malaysia Airports Holdings Bhd (MAHB) dragged.

At 9.05am, the FBM KLCI dipped 3.36 points to 1,608.07.

The early losers included PPB Group Bhd, Fraser & Neave Holdings Bhd, Hong Leong Financial Group Bhd, Hong Leong Bank Bhd, Hartalega Holdings Bhd, Public Bank Bhd, Sime Darby Plantation Bhd and MAHB.

The yen climbed and sovereign bond yields dropped as weak U.S. consumer data added to concerns about escalating trade tensions and their impact on the global economy. Asian equities traded mixed, according to Bloomberg.

Japanese stocks fell, while shares showed modest gains in South Korea and Australia. The caution comes despite U.S. equities rising Wednesday as Bloomberg reported President Donald Trump would postpone by up to six months a decision on car tariffs that was due by Saturday. Australian government bond yields plumbed fresh all-time lows, tracking overnight moves in Treasuries that saw the two-year yield touch the lowest level since February 2018 and the 10-year rate drop to 2.37%. Crude oil edged higher and the dollar steadied, it said.

Kenanga IB Research said Asian markets closed mostly higher, taking lead from overnight gains at Wall Street after Trump played down trade war tensions.

It said similarly, the FBM KLCI rebounded by 12.24 points or 0.77% to close at 1611.43.

“The index is on a downtrend and there is no technical indicator that shows a potential reversal is at play.

“From here, global negative news and overall weak investor sentiment will likely see the index head towards its supports at 1,585 (S1) and 1,570 (S2).

“Conversely, resistance can be identified at 1,640 (R1) and 1,660 (R2) if there is unexpected positive news flow,” it said.