KLCI dips 0.47% as Malaysia manufacturing data disappoints

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KUALA LUMPUR (April 1): The FBM KLCI reversed its earlier gains and fell 0.47% at the midday break today, despite the rally at regional markets, after Malaysia's Nikkei Manufacturing Purchasing Managers' Index (PMI) deteriorated to a three-month low of 47.2 in March 2019, signalling a worsening of business conditions in contrast with its Asean neighbours.

This marked a rapid decline of the country's index figure from 49.6 in February this year. It is also the lowest PMI to be recorded for Malaysia since it fell to 46.8 in December last year.

At 12.30pm, the FBM KLCI fell 7.73 points to 1,635.90. The index had earlier risen to a high of 1,647.59.

The gainers led losers by 289 to 232, while 527 counters traded unchanged. Volume was 1.45 billion shares valued at RM786.87 million.

The losers included Public Bank Bhd, Panasonic Manufacturing Malaysia Bhd, Hong Leong Bank Bhd, Rapid Synergy Bhd, Nestle (M) Bhd, APM Automotive Holdings Bhd, Hong Leong Financial Group Bhd and Kia Lim Bhd.

The actives included Konsortium Transnasional Bhd, GETS Global Bhd, Bumi Armada Bhd, Sealink International Bhd, Sapura Energy Bhd, Pintaras Jaya Bhd and My EG Services Bhd.

The gainers included Heineken Malaysia Bhd, Syarikat Takaful Malaysia Keluarga Bhd, SAM Engineering & Equipment (M) Bhd, Carlsberg Brewery Malaysia Bhd, Pentamaster Corp Bhd and Lingkaran Trans Kota Holdings Bhd.

Asian stocks rallied on Monday as positive Chinese factory gauges and signs of progress in Sino-US trade talks supported sentiment, although another defeat for British Prime Minister Theresa May's proposed Brexit deal added to sterling's woes, according to Reuters.

MSCI's broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan added 1% and the Shanghai Composite Index rallied 1.7%, it said.

Affin Hwang Capital Research said the FBM KLCI Index rose as much as 8 points on Friday before paring gains towards the end of the trading session.

In the end, the index closed only 2.3 points or 0.14% higher at 1,643.63.

"To recap last week, the index gapped lower at the beginning of the week, setting a bearish tone from the start. Prices moved lower as anticipated after as sellers dominated market sentiments.

"The shorter-period daily EMAs (exponential moving average) are below the longer-period EMAs while prices are trading well below all of the key EMAs as well — this is a sell signal, pointing towards a heavy bias to the downside.

"Anticipate the FBM KLCI Index to further soften, potentially retesting the 1,630-1,615 level," it said.