KLCI falls 0.99% as sentiment turns bearish

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KUALA LUMPUR (May 25): The FBM KLCI fell sharply at the midday break today as market sentiment turned bearish in line with the overall slump at regional markets.

At 12.30pm, the FBM KLCI lost 17.53 points to 1,769.97.

Losers thumped gainers by 704 to 99 while 213 counters traded unchanged. Volume was 1 billion shares valued at RM806.74 million.

The FBM Emas lost 122.85 points to 12,230.56, the FBMT100 fell 112.09 points to 11,915.51.

The top losers included Nestle (M) Bhd, Tenaga Nasional Bhd, Oriental Food Industries Bhd, British American Tobacco (M) Bhd, Pos Malaysia Bhd, Hong Leong Financial Group Bhd, Kuala Lumpur Kepong Bhd, IFCA MSC Bhd, Malaysian Pacific Industries Bhd, PPB Group Bhd, Tasco Bhd, Hong Leong Bank Bhd and C.I. Holdings Bhd.

The actives included AirAsia X Bhd, Frontken Corporation Bhd, IFCA MSC, KNM Group Bhd, JHM Consolidation Bhd, Nexgram Holdings Bhd and APFT Bhd.

The gainers included Dutch Lady Milk Industries Bhd, KLCC Property Holdings Bhd, JHM Consolidation, Perak Corporation Bhd, Sasbadi Holdings Bhd, Kossan Rubber Industries Bhd and Malaysia Airports Holdings Bhd.

Asian shares got off to a slow start on Monday after US Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen indicated that the central bank was poised to raise interest rates this year if the economy keeps improving as expected, according to Reuters.

Activity was likely to be thin, with the UK, US and many European markets shut for holidays, it said.

Meanwhile, most Southeast Asian stock markets fell on Monday, weighed down by renewed concerns about a US interest rate hike, but shares in Singapore eked out gains amid selective buying ahead of inflation data for April, said Reuters.

BIMB Securities Research said that key Asian equities ended mostly higher last Friday with sharp increase in China and Hong Kong as Beijing steps up monetary easing and money floods in from overseas.

“Back home, the FBM KLCI continues to slide, losing 7.54 points or 0.42% to 1,787.50 due to heavy selling by foreign institutions.

“In total, foreign institutions sold more than RM500 million for the week. We reckon the local market to remain negative today with immediate resistance at 1,780 due to negative sentiment coupled with upcoming interest hike in the US,” it said.