KLCI down 0.28% in line with region; small caps, tech stocks slide

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KUALA LUMPUR (April 23): The FBM KLCI fell 0.28% at the midday break today, while small capitalisation and technology-related stocks also fell.

At 12.30pm, the FBM KLCI fell 5.35 points to 1,882.40. The index had earlier risen to its intra-morning high of 1,891.59.

Losers led gainers by 604 to 149, while 327 counters traded unchanged. Volume was 993.88 million shares valued at RM615.07 million.

The FBM Small Cap Index fell 1.24% to 14,706.77 while the Technology Index lost 1.48% to 31.23.

Among the top losers on Bursa Malaysia were Hengyuan Refining Co Bhd, KESM Industries Bhd, Petron Malaysia Refining & Marketing Bhd, Petronas Gas Bhd, Genting Plantations Bhd, Aeon Credit Service (M) Bhd, Hartalega Holdings Bhd, Hong Leong Bank Bhd and MISC Bhd.

The actives included Borneo Oil Bhd, Sapura Energy Bhd, UMW Oil & Gas Corp Bhd, Sino Hua-An International Bhd, Iris Corp Bhd, Ire-tex Corp Bhd, YKGI Holdings Bhd, Hibiscus Petroleum Bhd and SKH Consortium Bhd.

The top gainers included Far East Holdings Bhd, Allianz Malaysia Bhd, United Plantations Bhd, BIMB Holdings Bhd, Top Glove Corp Bhd, Hap Seng Consolidated Bhd, PMB Technology Bhd and Fraser & Neave Holdings Bhd.

Asian stocks dipped on Monday as investors braced for a bevy of earnings from the world's largest corporations, while keeping a wary eye on US bond yields as they approach peaks that have triggered market spasms in the past, according to Reuters.

Traders were also anxiously awaiting surveys on global manufacturing for April to see if economic softness in the first quarter was just a passing phase linked to poor weather and the Lunar New Year holidays, it said.

Affin Hwang Capital Research said this week, regional markets start with few negative notes: a sharp 4% sell-off in technology stocks in the US at the end of last week, China's deteriorating outlook on external trades and escalating trade wars, global adjustment of interest rates, and geo-political concerns as Syria-Russia-Iran coalition might retaliate against recent US attacks.

"As such, regional markets are anticipated to be mixed with rising downside bias.

"For the local market, the FBM KLCI is expected to outperform the regional markets as stocks in Bursa continue to be vibrant following the index's upward breakout last week thus keen in exploring new high this week onward.

"Immediate upside technical target likely to be in a range of 1,900-1,923 level," it said.