KLCI pares loss after briefly slipping below 1,300 level

KLCI pares loss after briefly slipping below 1,300 level
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KUALA LUMPUR (March 16): The FBM KLCI pared some of its loss at mid-morning today, tracking the losses at regional markets, having slipped below the 1,300-point level briefly.

Sentiment at regional markets appeared to be pessimistic despite an emergency rate cut in the US.

At 10am, the FBM KLCI was down 30.84 points to 1,313.91. The index had earlier slipped to a low of 1,299.42.

All the indices on Bursa Malaysia were in the red. Losers led gainers by 783 to 76, while 122 counters traded unchanged. Volume was 916.94 million shares valued at RM539.66 million.

The top losers included Nestle (M) Bhd, Panasonic Manufacturing Malaysia Bhd, Dutch Lady Milk Industries Bhd, Fraser & Neave Holdings Bhd, Aeon Credit Service (M) Bhd, LPI Capital Bhd, Heineken Malaysia Bhd, Ajinomoto (M) Bhd and Kuala Lumpur Kepong Bhd.

The actives included Borneo Oil Bhd, Bumi Armada Bhd, Vortex Consolidated Bhd, Jaks Resources Bhd, Sapura Energy Bhd, Alam Maritim Resources Bhd, AirAsia Group Bhd, Iris Corp Bhd and Eduspec Holdings Bhd.

The gainers were mainly Malaysia-listed Hang Seng Index-linked put warrants.

Reuters said stock markets and the US dollar fell heavily on Monday, after emergency rate cuts in the United States and New Zealand failed to allay fears about the coronavirus' economic shock.

US stock futures hit their downlimit before daybreak in Singapore. The US dollar sank more than 2% against the yen, it said.

Hong Leong IB Research said that despite a sharp rebound on Wall Street last Friday, it anticipates selling pressure to resume after the US Federal Reserve (Fed) announced over the weekend another round of surprise cut of its benchmark interest rate to zero and launched a new round of QE program worth US$700 billion amid increasing worries that the coronavirus will slow down economic growth moving forward.

“In our view, Dow’s upside could be limited around 23,500.

“The Dow futures are declining at this juncture after a surprise move by the Fed cutting the interest rates amid the ongoing worries over Covid-19 impact on economic activities globally.

“Hence, we believe the trading tone for Asia’s stock markets will be negative and anticipate selling pressure to persist on the local front. Should the KLCI breach support along 1,300, next support is located around 1,250,” it said.