KLCI drifts lower in line with regional markets

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KUALA LUMPUR (May 2): The FBM KLCI tracked regional markets and drifted lower in early trade this morning despite the release of some positive domestic manufacturing data.

Malaysia’s Nikkei Manufacturing Purchasing Managers’ Index (PMI) rose markedly to reach a seven-month high in April amid a return to growth for export orders.

The Nikkei Malaysia Manufacturing PMI rose in April to its highest since September 2018, recording 49.4 compared to 47.2 in March to return to its long-run average.

However, at 9.10am, the FBM KLCI shed 0.15 points to 11,642.14.

The early decliners included United Plantations Bhd, Petron Malaysia Refining & Marketing Bhd, Globetronics Technology Bhd, DiGi, Com Bhd, Westports Holdings Bhd, IOI Corp Bhd, Malaysia Airports Holdings Bhd, Maxis Bhd, UOA Developmet Bhd and Lingkaran Trans Kota Holdings Bhd.

Stocks in Asia opened lower on Thursday as U.S. equities fell after the Federal Reserve pushed back on market expectations that its next move would be a rate cut. The dollar advanced, according to Bloomberg.

Sydney and Seoul shares fell, while futures in Hong Kong were little changed. China and Japan remain closed for holidays. The Fed’s decision to hold rates steady and Chairman Jerome Powell’s subsequent comments the central bank has no bias to either tighten or ease policy -- noting that weak inflation readings may be “transitory” -- sparked a modest repricing of assets from the dollar to bonds and equities, it said.

CIMB Retail Research said the FBM KLCI Index eked out a month-on-month marginal loss of 1.34 points in April.

It said amid the positive divergence formation on the indicators, the index has decisively broken out of its downward channel from the February high of 1,732.

“Coupled with the bullish morning star pattern on the weekly chart and a hammer candle on its monthly chart, the index could potentially bounce towards the 1,685-1,690 zones in the following weeks.

“Resistance: 1,645 & 1,665. Support: 1,630 & 1,610,” it said.