KLCI dips 0.22% as spectre of Covid-19 keeps investor sentiment in check

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KUALA LUMPUR (Feb 18): The FBM KLCI dipped 0.22% at mid-morning today as the spectre of the Covid-19 virus continued to keep investor sentiment in check.

At 10am, the FBM KLCI was down 3.43 points to 1,533.69.

Losers led gainers by 399 to 141, while 273 counters traded unchanged. Volume was 800.09 million shares valued at RM349.77 million.

The top losers included Kuala Lumpur Kepong Bhd, Nestle (M) Bhd, Fraser & Neave Holdings Bhd, Sarawak Consolidated Industries Bhd, KESM Industries Bhd, Pentamaster Corp Bhd, Globetronics Technology Bhd and Dufu Technology Corp Bhd.

The actives included Icon Offshore Bhd, DGB Asia Bhd, My EG Services Bhd, Sapura Energy Bhd, Powerwell Holdings Bhd and Green Packet Bhd.

The gainers included Dutch Lady Milk Industries Bhd, Ajinomoto (M) Bhd, Allianz Malaysia Bhd, Hong Leong Bank Bhd, British American Tobacco (M) Bhd, Heineken Malaysia Bhd, Time Dotcom Bhd, PMB Technology Bhd and Mega First Corp Bhd.

Reuters said US stock futures slipped from record levels on Tuesday after Apple Inc said it will not meet its revenue guidance for the March quarter as the coronavirus outbreak slowed production and weakened demand in China.

The warning from the most valuable company in the United States sobered investor optimism that economic stimulus by Beijing and other countries would protect the global economy from the effects of the epidemic, it said.

Hong Leong IB Research said in the near term, the real impact of the coronavirus outbreak is still uncertain and the viral outbreak could pose a threat to global growth as the epidemic has spooked investors amid quarantines, supply-chain disruptions and factory shutdowns.

“Nevertheless, US investors found comfort in solid economic data, better-than-expected earnings reports and a signal that the Fed stands ready to act if needed. The Dow’s trading range will be located around 28,500-30,000.

“Given the Covid-19 outbreak has disrupted several supply chains moving out from China, it could thwart global growth and flag recession fears; KLCI’s upside could be capped in the near term ahead of the busy Feb reporting weeks.

“Nevertheless, we see potential trading opportunities in the construction and building materials segments in the anticipation of stimulus measure announcement by the government on Feb 27,” it said.