KLCI falls 0.47% in tandem with regional weakness

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KUALA LUMPUR (Dec 20): The FBM KLCI fell 0.47% at the midday break today in tandem with the weakness at the regional equity markets.

At 12.30pm, the FBM KLCI fell 7.78 points to 1,647.88. The index had earlier fallen to its intra-morning low of 1,630.95.

Losers led gainers by 436 to 245, while 282 counters traded unchanged. Volume was 1.21 billion shares valued at RM768.91 million.

The top losers included Dutch Lady Milk Industries Bhd, Nestle (M) Bhd, United Plantations Bhd, Petronas Dagangan Bhd, Maxis Bhd, Petron Malaysia Refining & Marketing Bhd, SAM Engineering & Equipment (M) Bhd, Hong Leong Financial Group Bhd and IHH Healthcare Bhd.

The actives included Sumatec Resources Bhd, Bumi Armada Bhd, Sapura Energy Bhd, Sanichi Technology Bhd, V.S. Industry Bhd, Genting Malaysia Bhd, Hubline Bhd, Pretariang Bhd and Berjaya Corp Bhd.

The gainers included Malaysia Airports Holdings Bhd, Dialog Group Bhd, Ajinomoto (M) Bhd, LPI Capital Bhd, PPB Group Bhd, Supermax Corp Bhd and MCE Holdings Bhd.

Asian shares retreated on Thursday after the US Federal Reserve raised rates, as expected, and kept most of its guidance for additional hikes next year, dashing investor hopes for a more dovish policy outlook, according to Reuters.

MSCI's broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan dropped 1.3%, with Australian shares slipping as much as 0.7% to two-year lows, it said.

Affin Hwang Capital Research said Asian markets opened low in the early trade this morning.

It said the FBM KLCI Index was expected to firm up as selling pressures gradually subsided — external factors remain the source of volatility.

"Present volatility in the global major markets, particularly the US and Europe, should be converted into opportunity by wise investors as stocks reached their oversold level.

"Blue chips, dividend-based stocks and index-linked stocks anticipated to experience steady accumulation thus support in the near future.

"Anticipate strong buying interests to emerge if the FBM KLCI index continues to slide below 1,630. Key support range for the FBM KLCI: 1,630-1,600, while key resistance range: 1,750-1,780," it said.