KLCI pares loss, sentiment stays tepid in line with cautious region

KLCI pares loss, sentiment stays tepid in line with cautious region
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KUALA LUMPUR (Feb 21): The FBM KLCI pared some of its losses at mid-morning today, but sentiment stayed tepid in line with the cautious regional markets.

At 10.05am, the FBM KLCI was down 2.47 points to 1,532.51. The index had earlier slipped to a low of 1,527.57.

Losers led gainers by 293 to 239, while 299 counters traded unchanged. Volume was 773.87 million shares valued at RM373.76 million.

The top losers included Nestle (M) Bhd, Fraser & Neave Holdings Bhd, Pharmaniaga Holdings Bhd, Malaysia Airports Holdings Bhd, Hong Leong Bank Bhd, G3 Global Bhd, Petronas Gas Bhd, Petronas Chemicals Group Bhd and Hap Seng Consolidated Bhd.

The actives included Eduspec Holdings Bhd, XOX Bhd, i-Stone Group Bhd, Perdana Petroleum Bhd, Tiger Synergy Bhd, Powerwell Holdings Bhd and mTouche Technology Bhd.

The gainers included Panasonic Manufacturing Malaysia Bhd, British American Tobacco (M) Bhd, Carlsberg Brewery Malaysia Bhd, Heineken Malaysia Bhd, Dutch Lady Milk Industries Bhd, Kuala Lumpur Kepong Bhd, PPB Group Bhd, Allianz Malaysia Bhd, Mi Technovation Bhd and Dufu Technology Corp Bhd.

Reuters said Asian shares were cast adrift on Friday as fears over the creeping spread of the coronavirus sent funds fleeing to the sheltered shores of US assets, lofting the US dollar to three-year highs.

Even Wall Street turned south late on Thursday on reports of increased infections in Beijing, and as the virus spread in South Korea and Japan, it said.

Hong Leong IB Research said in the US, markets will remain choppy near the all-time-high zone under the Covid-19 episode as investors will continue to assess the real impact of the Covid-19 outbreak, which may weaken the global economy amid the ongoing trade war environment.

“Should more companies in the US come out with warning statements of the coronavirus impact, we believe trading sentiment may turn negative and the Dow’s upside should be capped around 30,000.

“On the local front, we opine that KLCI’s consolidation phase may still persist in the near term, tracking the performance on overnight Wall Street.

“Should the Covid-19 situation prolong, it may pose downside risk towards global economic activities, capping the upside potential on the KLCI.

“However, we think traders may monitor stocks under plastic and paper packaging segments as we noticed trading volumes spiking up over the past week, as well as the stimulus measure announcement by the government on Feb 27,” it said.