KLCI pares loss, stays below 1,300 as heavy profit taking drags index-linked bank stocks

KLCI pares loss, stays below 1,300 as heavy profit taking drags index-linked bank stocks
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KUALA LUMPUR (March 23): The benchmark FBM KLCI pared some of its losses but remained below 1,300 at mid-morning today as key index-linked financial services stocks dragged amid some heavy profit taking.

At 10am, the FBM KLCI was down 142.65 points to 1,260.63. The index had earlier slumped to a low of 1,241.46.

Market breadth turned negative with 655 losers and 93 gainers, while 120 counters traded unchanged. Volume was 721.37 million shares valued at RM429.51 million.

Among the main laggards were CIMB Group Holdings Bhd, Malayan Banking Bhd, Public Bank Bhd, RHB Bank Bhd, AMMB Holdings Bhd and Hong Leong Bank Bhd, as well as Fraser & Neave Holdings Bhd, Carlsberg Brewery Malaysia Bhd, Heineken Malaysia Bhd, Petronas Gas Bhd and LPI Capital Bhd.

The actives included AirAsia Group Bhd, Jaks Resources Bhd, Ekovest Bhd, Hibiscus Petroleum Bhd, Genting Malaysia Bhd, My EG Services Bhd and UWC Bhd.

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

Reuters said Asian shares slid on Monday as more countries all but shut down in the fight against the coronavirus, threatening to overwhelm policymakers' frantic efforts to cushion what is clear to be a deep global recession.

In a taste of the pain to come, E-Mini futures for the S&P 500 dived 5% at the open to be limit down, it said.

Hong Leong IB Research said as Wall Street has declined on Friday, profit-taking activities were expected to emerge on the local exchange after a sharp increase in the KLCI members and stocks on the broader market, and the key index is expected to trade in a choppy manner along 1,200-1,300.

“In the US, selling pressure may continue as the stimulus package worth more than US$2 trillion did not get enough votes in a key Senate procedural vote Sunday evening,” it said.