KUALA LUMPUR (April 1): The FBM KLCI dipped 0.82% at mid-morning today against the backdrop of weaker March manufacturing data for Malaysia.
The headline IHS Markit Malaysia Manufacturing Purchasing Managers’ Index (PMI) fell to 48.4 in March, from 48.5 in February, signalling a further drop in momentum across the Malaysian goods-producing sector.
IHS Markit said that during March, the survey's output index fell to its lowest level since June 2016, signalling a sharp slowdown in manufacturing production in Malaysia.
At 10am, the FBM KLCI fell 11 points to 1,339.89.
Gainers led losers by 371 to 190, while 246 counters traded unchanged. Trading volume was 1.05 billion shares valued at RM513.97 million.
The top losers included Fraser & Neave Holdings Bhd, Petronas Dagangan Bhd, Dutch Lady Milk Industries Bhd, Nestle (M) Bhd, United Plantations Bhd, Petronas Chemicals Group Bhd, Heineken Malaysia Bhd, Tenaga Nasional Bhd, Kuala Lumpur Kepong Bhd and Hong Leong Bank Bhd.
The actives included Hibiscus Petroleum Bhd, Jaks Resources Bhd, Bumi Armada Bhd, Sapura Energy Bhd and FoundPac Group Bhd.
The gainers included Kumpulan Powernet Bhd, Sarawak Consolidated Industries Bhd, Genting Bhd, Pentamaster Corp Bhd, Hong Leong Industries Bhd and Panasonic Manufacturing Malaysia Bhd.
Bloomberg said US stock futures declined as investors assessed worsening American coronavirus figures as a new quarter begins. Asian shares opened mostly lower.
Futures on the S&P 500 Index were down more than 1% after US President Donald Trump warned of a “painful” two weeks ahead, with the country grappling to get the outbreak under control. Cases in New York state surged by 9,000.
Shares in Japan and South Korea fell, while Australia’s bucked the trend. Futures in Hong Kong retreated. In China, a private reading on the country’s manufacturing sector is expected to show a rebound for March. Treasuries and the yen held recent gains, the newswire said.
JF Apex Securities Research said US market declined overnight after the government expects 100,000 to 240,000 deaths from the coronavirus.
It said that earlier, European stocks climbed after China's manufacturing PMI for March was better than expected.
“On the local market, the FBM KLCI rose 22.01 points to 1,350.89 points.
“Following the mixed performances in the US and Europe, the FBM KLCI could take a breather from its rebound and hover below the resistance of 1,370 points,” it said.