KLCI falls 0.44% as weak China factory data drags markets

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KUALA LUMPUR (Feb 28): The FBM KLCI fell 0.44% at the midday break today, tracking the selloff at most regional markets following weaker factory data from China.

At 12.30pm, the FBM KLCI fell 8.28 points to 1,863.18.

Losers outpaced gainers by 592 to 134, while 572 counters traded unchanged. Volume was 1.56 billion shares valued at RM1.26 billion.

The top losers included Dutch Lady Milk Industries Bhd, Hengyuan Refining Co Bhd, Petron Malaysia Refining & Marketing Bhd, Thong Guan Industries Bhd, Nestle (M) Bhd, Pos Malaysia Bhd, Hong Leong Bank Bhd and Petronas Gas Bhd.

The actives included Perisai Petroleum Teknologi Bhd, UMW Oil & Gas Corp Bhd, Sino Hua-An International Bhd, Diversified Gateway Solutions Bhd, AirAsia X Bhd, XOX Bhd and Sapura Energy Bhd.

The gainers included British American Tobacco (M) Bhd, Batu Kawan Bhd, Muda Holdings Bhd, Goh Ban Huat Bhd, Tasek Corp Bhd and Pharmaniaga Bhd.

Asian shares extended losses on Wednesday and bonds were sold off as weak factory data from China revived worries about global economic growth amid fears of faster rate rises in the United States, according to Reuters.

MSCI's broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan slipped 0.7%, on track for a second straight day of losses, it said.

Kenanga IB Research said Asian markets ended mixed as investors await the Federal Reserve chair's testimony, looking for clues on potential rate hike.

It said the FBM KLCI yesterday gained 11.38 points or 0.61% to close higher at 1,871.46 led by financial stocks.

"Broader market sentiment still negative led with 563 losers outpacing 443 winners, while 416 counters remain unchanged.

"Medium-to-longer term outlook remains resilient with the local benchmark expected to recover from losses made earlier in the month.

"Expect recovery to gain traction, with a possible retest at 1,883 (R1). Should this level be taken out, the index would then attract momentum buying towards 1,910 (R2).

"Failure to break past R1 will see firm support levels at 1,798 (S1) and 1,771 (S2)," it said.