KLCI dips 0.35% as regional markets pause

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KUALA LUMPUR (April 11): The FBM KLCI fell 0.35% at mid-morning today, dragged by losses including at Tenaga Nasional Bhd and Petronas Gas Bhd, as regional markets paused.

At 10am, the FBM KLCI fell 5.69 points to 1,633.77.

Losers edged gainers by 260 to 258, while 312 counters traded unchanged. Volume was 1.30 billion shares valued at RM398.26 million.

The decliners included Nestle (M) Bhd, British American Tobacco (M) Bhd, Tenaga, Petronas Gas, Hap Seng Consolidated Bhd, Can-One Bhd and FGV Holdings Bhd.

The actives included Daya Materials Bhd, Sumatec Resources Bhd, Ekovest Bhd, Dynaciate Group Bhd, Iskandar Waterfront City Bhd, UEM Sunrise Bhd and Datasonic Group Bhd.

The gainers included SAM Engineering & Equipment (M) Bhd, Hong Leong Industries Bhd, Enra Group Bhd, Toyo Ink Group Bhd, UEM Sunrise, Tasek Corp Bhd and Petronas Dagangan Bhd.

Asian stocks held near eight-month highs on Thursday and the US dollar slipped again on expectations global interest rates will stay lower for longer after a dovish turn by the European Central Bank and milder-than-expected US inflation, according to Reuters.

The British pound was little changed after European leaders agreed to extend the deadline for UK to leave the union to the end of October, averting a potential crash out of the bloc on Friday with no divorce deal, it said.

Hong Leong IB Research said market participants could be staying cautious ahead of the corporate earnings season this week, as consensus are expecting a 3% year-on-year drop in S&P 500 companies, the first since 2016.

"Moreover, fresh concerns over the US-EU trade tensions as well as the latest IMF's (International Monetary Fund's) downgrade of global economic growth could further dampen the sentiment on stock markets, capping the upside move after a decent rebound in the previous weeks on the back of fading worries on US-China trade disputes. The Dow's resistance will be set along 26,487-26,952.

"We believe the FBM KLCI could continue on a consolidation mode over the near term without any strong rerating impetus.

"However, the sentiment on the small caps and lower liners may still persist within construction and O&G (oil and gas) stocks on the back of potential revival of ECRL (East Coast Rail Link) and firmer recovery in crude oil prices. The key index could range bound between 1,635-1,650 zones with stiff resistances near 1,658 (downtrend line)," it said.