KLCI down 0.3% amidst lack of buying catalyst

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KUALA LUMPUR (Feb 21): The FBM KLCI dropped 6.03 points or 0.3% to close at 1,706.55 points today. Share prices ended the day mostly lower with 552 decliners outnumbering 364 winners amidst lack of impetus to sustain recent buying interest on Bursa Malaysia.

Mercury Securities Sdn Bhd research head Edmund Tham told theedgemarkets.com that although the trading activity was higher today, there is little news flow to drive buying interest on the local bourse.  

“The KLCI is still above 1,700 level at the moment. But if the recent announced corporate earnings are disappointing, this could affect market sentiment,” said Tham.

Moving forward, Tham said investors will continue to keep a close watch on the movement of the ringgit and crude oil price. The local currency is trading at RM4.4567 against the US dollar today. Meanwhile, the Brent crude is trading at US$56.67 per barrel as at 5.30pm.

Total trading volume across the board was higher today at 2.89 billion shares worth RM2.35 billion compared with 2.49 billion shares.

Dagang Nexchange Bhd was the most-actively traded counter on Bursa Malaysia today. Its trading volume soared to 226.7 million shares — the highest level since end-September last year.

Fraser & Neave Holdings Bhd and Carlsberg Brewery Malaysia Bhd were among the top 10 gainers today, while BAT was the top loser.

On the regional front, Reuters reported Asian stocks held ground on Tuesday though Chinese equities surged to a fresh two-and-a-half-month high as domestic funds piled into financial counters on expectations the world's second biggest economy may have turned a corner.

With US markets closed for the Presidents Holiday on Monday, Asian markets have had few global cues off which to trade. Chinese stocks led regional gainers with mainland indexes extending a nearly 7%  rise over the last month thanks to an influx of fresh funds from domestic institutional investors and a brightening outlook for the domestic economy.

Japan's Nikkei 225 rose 0.68%, Hong Kong's Hang Seng fell 0.76% while Kospi climbed 0.89%. Shanghai composite rose 0.41% and Shenzhen composite grew 0.93%.