KLCI falls 0.7% as regional markets sag

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KUALA LUMPUR (May 27): The FBM KLCI fell 0.7% at the midday break today in line with regional markets that sagged on worries over the financial woes engulfing Europe.

At 12.30pm, the FBM KLCI lost 12.43 points to 1,751.64.

Market breadth turned negative with losers thumping gainers by 536 to 163, while 262 counters traded unchanged. Volume was 948.94 million shares valued at RM832.00 million.

The top losers included Dutch Lady Milk Industries Bhd, Allianz Malaysia Bhd, Public Bank Bhd, Kuala Lumpur Kepong Bhd, Panasonic Malaysia Manufacturing Bhd, Malaysia Airports Holdings Bhd, Top Glove Corporation Bhd and Malayan Banking Bhd.

The actively traded counters included Xinghe Holdings Bhd, Sumatec Resources Bhd, Frontken Corporation Bhd, APFT Bhd, Kanger International Bhd, Opensys (M) Bhd, AirAsia X Bhd and Nexgram Holdings Bhd.

The top gainers included Petronas Dagangan Bhd, Hong Leong Financial Group Bhd, Microlink Solutions (M) Bhd, TAHPS Group Bhd, Southern Acids Bhd, Berjaya Auto Bhd and IJM Corporation Bhd.

Asian stocks sagged and the dollar stood tall on Wednesday on growing prospects the Federal Reserve was on track to raise interest rates later this year and concerns that financial woes could engulf Spain in addition to Greece, according to Reuters.

Taking a lead from Wall Street's slide, MSCI's broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan fell 0.8%. Shares in Australia dropped 0.8%, South Korea fell 1.6%, Hong Kong eased 0.6%, while Tokyo's Nikkei dipped 0.1%, it said.

AffinHwang Capital Research said the FBM KLCI was anticipated to trend lower after breaching key support level at 1,770.

The research house said that unexciting recent corporate results, overstretched valuations as well as slower earnings growth outlook are amongst the main reasons for current sell-offs.

It said local corporates and political issues were simply the additions to existing bearish catalysts.

Furthermore, it said similar sentiments, in terms of valuation and earnings growth, are also shared in the US equity market which starts to show signs of exhaustion hence limit the upside potential. “As such, locking in profits is possibly the best action after a very long rally since March 2009 without significant correction.

“For market direction, we anticipate that the FBM KLCI is heading toward the next support range at 1,710–1,670 points. Any rebounds are expected to be short lived,” it said.