KLCI erases earlier losses as OPR cut soothes sentiment, regional markets trade mixed

KLCI erases earlier losses as OPR cut soothes sentiment, regional markets trade mixed
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KUALA LUMPUR (May 6): The FBM KLCI clawed back to erase earlier losses at mid-morning today against the backdrop of mixed regional markets and a local interest rate cut aimed at reviving the economy.

As at 9.55am, the FBM KLCI had inched up 0.03% or 0.42 points to 1,389.97. The index earlier slipped to a low of 1,384.41.

The gainers included Fraser & Neave Holdings Bhd, Petronas Dagangan Bhd, Hengyuan Refining Company Bhd, LPI Capital Bhd, Petron Malaysia Refining & Marketing Bhd, Hong Leong Financial Group Bhd, Supermax Corp Bhd and TIME dotCom Bhd.

The actives included Key Alliance Group Bhd, AT Systemization Bhd, Sapura Energy Bhd, Perdana Petroleum Bhd, Velesto Energy Bhd, Hubline Bhd, Rimbunan Sawit Bhd, Hibiscus Petroleum Bhd and Bumi Armada Bhd.

The decliners included Ayer Holdings Bhd, Heineken Malaysia Bhd, Kuala Lumpur Kepong Bhd, Nestle (Malaysia) Bhd, Hap Seng Industries Bhd, United Malacca Bhd, KESM Industries Bhd and Public Bank Bhd.

Bloomberg said stocks in Asia began the session mixed, with investors weighing optimism that more economies are moving towards easing lockdowns against cautionary comments from US Federal Reserve (Fed) officials.

Meanwhile, Reuters said oil prices fell today, ending a multi-day streak of gains, as investors focused on oversupply risks after US crude inventories rose more than expected amid a slump in demand caused by restrictions to halt the spread of Covid-19.

US West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude futures fell as much as 2.1% to US$24.05 (RM103.68) a barrel and were down 14 cents at US$24.41 a barrel at 0201 GMT. WTI snapped a five-day winning streak.

Hong Leong Investment Bank Research said that ahead of the Wesak day holiday tomorrow, KLCI is likely to lock in range-bound consolidation mode in the short term (1,359-1,429 band) as investors face the start of a tepid May reporting season and renewed US-China trade tensions, coupled with concerns over a new wave of infections during the conditional movement control order (CMCO) period.

“Nevertheless, the downside risk may be cushioned by a rebound in oil prices and a 0.5% OPR (overnight policy rate) cut to revive an ailing domestic economy,” it said.