KLCI loses 0.82% in line with region on surging virus cases, global economic slowdown fears

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KUALA LUMPUR (Oct 30): The main index at Bursa Malaysia lost 0.82% at the midday break today in line with the fall at regional markets as fears of a global economic slowdown amid surging coronavirus cases rattled markets.

At 12.30pm, the FBM KLCI fell 12.19 points to 1,483.01.

Market breadth was negative with 578 losers and 137 gainers, while 643 counters traded unchanged. Trading volume was 2.9 billion shares valued at RM1.58 billion.

The top losers included TIME dotCom Bhd, Fraser & Neave Holdings Bhd, PPB Group Bhd, QL Resources Bhd, Scientex Bhd, AEON Credit Service (M) Bhd, Batu Kawan Bhd, Tenaga Nasional Bhd, Petronas Chemicals Group Bhd and Duopharma Biotech Bhd.

The actively traded stocks included AT Systematization Bhd, Green Packet Bhd, Diversified Gateway Solutions Bhd, Dataprep Holdings Bhd, Ho Wah Genting Bhd, Vivocom Intl Holdings Bhd, Mah Sing Group Bhd and Trive Property Group Bhd.

The gainers included Nestle (Malaysia) Bhd, Malaysian Pacific Industries Bhd, British American Tobacco (Malaysia) Bhd, Negri Sembilan Oil Palms Bhd, Khind Holdings Bhd and Hume Industries Bhd.

Reuters said a gauge of Asian shares fell for a third straight session today as jitters over upcoming US presidential elections and fears that the global economic downturn would persist in enveloped markets, though the index was still set to end the month higher.

MSCI's broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside of Japan was last down 0.3%, on track to end the week 1.3% lower after four straight weeks of gains, it said.

Hong Leong IB Research said in the short term, it expects KLCI to be stuck in a tug-of-war between the bulls and bears ahead of the US presidential election (Nov 3) and the Budget 2021 presentation (Nov 6), coupled with ongoing November reporting season.

Moreover, it said the Conditional Movement Control Order extensions in Selangor, Kuala Lumpur and Putrajaya for another two weeks until Nov 9, 2020 amid spiking Covid-19 local transmissions and clusters underline the risks to economic and corporate earnings recovery for the second half of 2020.

"Key resistances are 1507-1518-1530 whilst supports fall on 1482-1474-1461 levels.

"Stocks wise, the exponential surge in Covid-19 cases in the US and Europe should boost the buying interests for technology- and healthcare-related stocks," it said.