KLCI falls 0.26% as flu-like virus keeps regional markets on tenterhooks

KLCI falls 0.26% as flu-like virus keeps regional markets on tenterhooks
-A +A

KUALA LUMPUR (Jan 23): The FBM KLCI fell 0.26% at mid-morning today, tracking regional markets and US stock futures, as the anxiety over the flu-like virus in China kept investors on tenterhooks.

At 10.01am, the FBM KLCI fell 4.08 points to 1,573.90.

Losers led gainers by 340 to 165, while 309 counters traded unchanged. Volume was 641.02 million shares valued at RM314.82 million.

The top losers included Nestle (M) Bhd, Kuala Lumpur Kepong Bhd, Hong Leong Financial Group Bhd, Carlsberg Brewery Malaysia Bhd, Tenaga Nasional Bhd, Press Metal Aluminium Holdings Bhd, Apex Healthcare Bhd, Eng Kah Corp Bhd and Genting Bhd.

The actives included Powerwell Holdings Bhd, Vortex Consolidated Bhd, Icon Offshore Bhd, mTouche Technology Bhd, Supermax Corp Bhd and MClean Technologies Bhd.

The gainers included KESM Industries Bhd, Icon Offshore, Batu Kawan Bhd, British American Tobacco (M) Bhd, Pentamaster Corp Bhd, UWC Bhd, PPB Group Bhd, Maxis Bhd and Genting Plantations Bhd.

Reuters reported that Asian shares and US stock futures edged lower on Thursday as investors remained anxious about the spread of a new flu-like virus in China just as millions prepared to travel for the Lunar New Year.

MSCI's broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan fell 0.13%. Australian shares were down 0.75%, while Japan's Nikkei stock index slid 0.64%, it said.

Hong Leong IB Research said despite recent volatility, the Dow's uptrend is fairly intact, taking cues from the prompt measures put in place by Chinese authorities to contain the coronavirus pandemic and the de-escalation of US-China trade disputes coupled with the expectation of low US Federal Reserve interest outlook ahead of the Jan 28-29 meeting (US time).

Moreover, it said ongoing positive 4Q19 reporting season — as 75% of the S&P 500 companies reported beat earnings per share estimates — could be a rerating catalyst for the Dow to advance further towards the research house's envisaged 29,500-30,000 territory, with support set around 28,600-28,800 levels.

"KLCI is envisaged to extend its consolidation mode ahead of the long Chinese New Year holidays (half-day trading on Jan 24 and reopens on Jan 28). As consensus view that Bank Negara Malaysia will stand pat with no more OPR (overnight policy rate) cuts for 2020 (assuming subdued external downside risks),

"KLCI is expected to build a base near 1,566-1,575 territory. Key resistances are situated [at] 1,588/1,600/1,612 zones.

"Nevertheless, traders may continue to focus on plantation counters as FCPO (crude palm oil futures) staged a 3% relief rally yesterday whilst gloves companies could see mild profit taking after recent rallies as Beijing's strong response helped to allay concerns," it said.