KLCI pares loss, possible China retaliation weighs on sentiment

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KUALA LUMPUR (May 13): The FBM KLCI pared some of its loss at the midday break today, but sentiment remained negative weighed by the possible retaliation from China against the US tariff hike.

At 12.30pm, the FBM KLCI was down 5.80 points to 1,604.47. The index had earlier dipped to a low of 1,602.85.

Losers thumped gainers by 522 to 94, while 388 counters traded unchanged. Volume was 1.14 billion shares valued at RM566.73 million.

The losers included Fraser & Neave Holdings Bhd, United Plantations Bhd, Allianz Malaysia Bhd, Heineken Malaysia Bhd, Aeon Credit Service (M) Bhd, Hengyuan Refining Company Bhd, BIMB Holdings Bhd and LPI Capital Bhd.

The actives included Lambo Group Bhd, Bumi Armada Bhd, Tiger Synergy Bhd, Sapura Energy Bhd, Advance Synergy Bhd, Ekovest Bhd, Impiana Hotels Bhd and MQ Technology Bhd.

The gainers included Nestle (M) Bhd, Petronas Dagangan Bhd, British American Tobacco (M) Bhd, YNH Property Bhd, Pintaras Jaya Bhd, Boustead Heavy Industries Corp Bhd, Petronas Gas Bhd, Westports Holdings Bhd and Woodlandor Holdings Bhd.

US stock futures and Asian shares fell on Monday on growing anxiety over whether the United States and China will be able to salvage a trade deal, after Washington sharply hiked tariffs and Beijing vowed to retaliate, according to Reuters.

The United States and China appeared at a deadlock over trade negotiations on Sunday as Washington demanded promises of concrete changes to Chinese law and Beijing said it would not swallow any "bitter fruit" that harmed its interests, it said.

Affin Hwang Capital Research said the FBM KLCI Index continue to slump, ending last week on a sour note.

The index fell 8.26 points or 0.51% on Friday, closing at 1,610.27.

"Looking at the daily chart, we can see that the index struggled to push above the EMA20d (20-day exponential moving average) and are unable to create new highs. These are signs that prices are turning lower, telling us that buyers are weak and buying momentum is lacking.

"As anticipated, the index turned lower from the moving average and is now retesting the 1,600-1,615 key support level.

"Anticipate the FBM KLCI Index to consolidate sideways with downward bias," it said.