KUALA LUMPUR (July 16): Malaysian stocks lost some momentum today, ahead of the extended weekend for the Hari Raya holidays.
The benchmark index closed in the red on profit taking and losses on several heavyweight stocks such as Tenaga Nasional Bhd and PPB Group Bhd.
At 12.30pm market close today, the FBM KLCI fell marginal by 0.53 points or 0.03% to close at 1,726.73 points. It had earlier fallen to a low of 1,720.70 points.
Yesterday (July 15), the benchmark index gained 6.16 points to close 1727.26 points, recording its five consecutive days gain.
The market breadth turned negative today, with declining stocks outnumbering rising ones with 330 to 314, while 269 stocks were unchanged.
Some 841.02 million shares, worth RM1.034 billion, changed hands during the trading session.
The falling stocks were led by United Plantation Bhd, PPB Group and TNB.
Tenaga's shares fell as much as 30 sen or 2.37% to close at RM12.36 today, after it announced it had submitted an indicative non-binding proposal to acquire the power assets from 1Malaysia Development Bhd's (1MDB) unit, Edra Global Energy Bhd.
The rising stocks include British American Tobacco (Malaysia) Bhd and Lafarge Malaysia Bhd.
The most active stock was Perwaja Holdings Bhd. It closed at 28.5 sen, up 0.5 sen or 1.79%, after it inked a framework agreement with China-based Tianjin Zhi Yuan Investment Group Bhd yesterday.
Most Asian shares edged up on Thursday after volatile Chinese stocks reversed course and rose, while the dollar stood tall after Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen reinforced expectations for a U.S. rate hike, according to Reuters.
As of 0328 GMT, Shanghai stocks were up 1.1 percent and the CSI300 index gained 1.4 percent. Underscoring fragile sentiment after a big recent rout, mainland indexes had slumped the previous day, despite positive gross domestic product data, it said.
BIMB Securities Research expects the KLCI to hover below the resistance of 1,740 points, as global investors remained cautious as violence broke out in Greece, after the parliament voted in favor of the bailout.
Meanwhile, Hong Leong Investment Bank Research said the approval of the Greece bailout plan this morning, could bode well for global markets, as "Grexit" overhang uncertainty is removed in the near future.
For Bursa Malaysia, KLCI is likely to trade sideways and trading sentiment is also not expected to improve significantly, with lingering political uncertainties and IMDB saga, coupled with the long Hari Raya holidays ahead.
"Key supports are situated at 1,717 points, 1,700 points and 1,685 points (July 9's low)," it said, adding that key resistance levels are 1,746 points and 1,769 points.