KLCI falls 0.62% on tepid sentiment, index stays below 1,700-level

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KUALA LUMPUR (March 4): The FBM KLCI fell 0.62%% in early trade this morning, despite the firmer start at most regional markets, dragged by key index-linked blue chips.

At 9.05am, the FBM KLCI lost 10.48 points to 1,690.28.

The top losers included Nestle (M) Bhd, Fraser & Neave Holdings Bhd, British American Tobacco (M) Bhd, Hong Leong Bank Bhd, Genting Plantations Bdh, Hong Leong Financial Group Bhd, PPB Group Bdh, Petronas Dagangan Bhd, Malaysia Airports Holdings Bhd and Tenaga Nasional Bhd.

U.S. stock futures jumped on Monday on reports the United States and China were close to striking a trade deal after a year-long tariff skirmish while the dollar eased as traders wagered Federal Reserve policy will remain accommodative, according to Reuters.

The Wall Street Journal reported Washington could lift most or all of its tariffs on Beijing while a summit between U.S. President Donald Trump and his Chinese counterpart Xi Jinping to sign a final trade deal could happen later this month, it said.

Kenanga IB Research said Asian markets ended mostly higher last Friday following better-than-expected US economic growth readings, while optimistic comments from White House economic advisor on the China-US trade talks lifted market sentiment.

It said on the local front, the FBM KLCI slipped 6.97 points to close at 1,700.76, closer to 1,700 (S1) support level, indicating week-on-week losses of 1.2%.

“We reckon that the local bourse is likely continuing its tepid trade over the week in the absence of fresh domestic catalyst coupled with uncertain global sentiment.

“Key momentum indicators are also tapering off suggesting that the bull is losing its strength.

“Should there be negative developments from the trade talks, support levels can be identified at 1,650 (S1) and 1,630 (S2) further down,” it said.