KLCI pares loss, down 0.31% as sentiment turns wary

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KUALA LUMPUR (March 22): The FBM KLCI pared some of its loss but was down 0.31%, weighed by select blue chips and sentiment turning wary.

At 12.30pm, the FBM KLCI fell 5.10 points to 1,658.56. The index had earlier slipped to a low of 1,657.01.

Losers led gainers by 320 to 226, while 509 counters traded unchanged. Volume was 1.49 billion shares valued at RM953.31 million.

The top losers included Fraser & Neave Holdings Bhd, Kuala Lumpur Kepong Bhd, Petronas Dagangan Bhd and Malaysia-listed Hang Seng Index-linked put warrants.

The actives included Berjaya Corp Bhd, My EG Services Bhd, Hibiscus Petroleum Bhd, Dynaciate Group Bhd and Dayang Enterprise Holdings Bhd.

The gainers included Heineken Malaysia Bhd, British American Tobacco (M) Bhd, Pintaras Jaya Bhd, Allianz Malaysia Bhd, Unisem (M) Bhd, KESM Industries Bhd, Sarawak Plantation Bhd and Perusahaan Sadur Timah Malaysia (Perstima) Bhd.

Asian shares hit 6½-month highs on Friday after upbeat US data and optimism in the tech sector lifted Wall Street stocks, helping calm some of the jitters sparked by the US Federal Reserve's cautious outlook on the world's biggest economy, according to Reuters.

MSCI's broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan rose 0.3%, led by 0.5% gains in the info tech sector, while Japan's Nikkei bucked the trend and lost 0.2%, it said.

Affin Hwang Capital Research said the FBM KLCI Index plunged 20.55 points or 1.22% on Thursday, closing at 1,663.66.

"The index has now retested lows made previously around the 1,665 level. This level has acted as support previously which may attract buyers at current level.

"However, with the overwhelming selling pressure seen yesterday, we may see the 1,665 level broken today. If prices broke below with [conviction], this confirms the formation of a new wave of short-term downtrend.

"Next support calculated to be around the 1,630 level. FBM KLCI Index resuming its short-term downtrend," it said.