KUALA LUMPUR (Jan 18): The main index of Bursa Malaysia lost 1.06% at the midday break today as key index-linked stocks including Public Bank Bhd and Genting Bhd led the losers.
At 12.30pm, the FBM KLCI had lost 17.32 points to 1,609.69.
Market breadth was negative with 515 losers and 252 gainers, while 713 counters traded unchanged. Trading volume was 4.14 billion shares valued at RM2.22 billion.
The top losers included Nestle (Malaysia) Bhd, Panasonic Manufacturing Malaysia Bhd, Euro Holdings Bhd, Hong Leong Bank Bhd (HLB), Kuala Lumpur Kepong Bhd (KLK), Petronas Dagangan Bhd (PetDag), LPI Capital Bhd, Public Bank Bhd, Hong Leong Financial Group Bhd (HLFG) and Genting Bhd.
The actively traded stocks included Lambo Group Bhd, Pegasus Heights Bhd, Key Alliance Group Bhd, PNE PCB Bhd, XOX Bhd, Kanger International Bhd and AT Systematization Bhd.
The gainers included Malaysian Pacific Industries Bhd, JF Technology Bhd, Kobay Technology Bhd, UWC Bhd, Genetec Technology Bhd, Sarawak Consolidated Industries Bhd and Unisem (M) Bhd.
Reuters said Asian share markets pared early losses today as data confirmed China's economy bounced back last quarter as factory output jumped, helping offset recent disappointing news of US consumer spending.
Chinese blue chips edged up 0.4% after the economy was reported to have grown 6.5% in the fourth quarter (4Q20), from a year earlier, topping forecasts of 6.1%, it said.
Hong Leong Investment Bank (HLIB) Research said it expects the KLCI to trade range-bound this week (support levels: 1,573-1,600; resistance: 1,637-1,650-1,667) as investors continue to weigh the economic impact of the movement control order (MCO) and the state of emergency declaration, coupled with the upcoming Bank Negara Malaysia (BNM) meeting on Jan 20 (the overnight policy rate [OPR] stood at the lowest level of 1.75% after four cuts of 1.25% in 2020).
“While the overall 2021 recovery thesis remains intact, opposing news flows between vaccine deployment and a still rising Covid-19 count will bring about much volatility along this path, perhaps also exacerbated by fluid politics and RSS (regulated short selling) reintroduction.
“Our top picks have a recovery bias (Tenaga Nasional Bhd [TNB], RHB Bank Bhd, DRB-Hicom Bhd, MBM Resources Bhd and Focus Point Holdings Bhd), combined with volatility (Bursa Malaysia Bhd), the defensives (Telekom Malaysia Bhd [TM] and MRCB-Quill REIT), value (IJM Corp Bhd, Sunway Bhd and Bumi Armada Bhd) and sold-down pandemic beneficiaries (Top Glove Corp Bhd),” it said.