KLCI falls 0.8% on possible downgrade of market accessibility level

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KUALA LUMPUR (April 17): The FBM KLCI fell 0.8% at the noon break today as sentiment at the local bourse took a beating after FTSE Russell placed Malaysia's market accessibility level in its World Government Bond Index under a review considering a downgrade.

At 12.30pm, the FBM KLCI slumped 12.68 points to 1,616.78.

Losers beat gainers 491 to 105, while 477 counters traded unchanged. Volume was 1.82 billion shares valued at RM845.79 million.

The top losers included British American Tobacco (M) Bhd, Kuala Lumpur Kepong Bhd, Dutch Lady Milk Industries Bhd, Ajinomoto (M) Bhd, Petronas Dagangan Bhd, Tenaga Nasional Bhd, United Plantations Bhd, PPB Group Bhd and Amway (M) Holdings Bhd.

The actives included Sapura Energy Bhd, Daya Materials Bhd, Sumatec Resources Bhd, Iskandar Waterfront City Bhd, Eduspec Holdings Bhd and Orion IXL Bhd.

The gainers included Batu Kawan Bhd, Fraser & Neave Holdings Bhd, Ayer Holdings Bhd, Pharmaniaga Bhd, Nestle (M) Bhd, Syarikat Takaful Malaysia Keluarga Bhd, Cahya Mata Sarawak Bhd, Heineken Malaysia Bhd and Tasek Corp Bhd.

Most Southeast Asian stock markets rose on Wednesday after China reported better-than-expected economic growth, fuelling hopes of a recovery in its economy amid concerns of a global growth slowdown, according to Reuters.

China's economy grew 6.4% in the first quarter from a year earlier, official data showed on Wednesday — steady from the previous quarter — helped by sharply higher factory production, the newswire said.

CIMB Retail Research said despite the decent performance across most Asian markets, the FBM KLCI Index was down 1.87 points yesterday as the ringgit continued to remain volatile.

"The index formed a small candlestick yesterday, which indicates indecision among the market players. The index is expected to remain tepid today.

"Meanwhile, we opine that oil & gas counters, such as Serba Dinamik Holdings Bhd, may gain strong traction from the overnight rally in oil prices. Resistance: 1,645 & 1,660. Support: 1,617 & 1,600," it said.