KLCI pares loss as virus fears keep markets in the red

KLCI pares loss as virus fears keep markets in the red
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KUALA LUMPUR (Feb 3): The FBM KLCI pared some of its loss at mid-morning today, against the backdrop of the selloff at most regional markets.

At 10am, the FBM KLCI was down 3.40 points to 1,527.66. The index had earlier fallen to a low of 1,517.61.

Losers thumped gainers by 749 to 80, while 213 counters traded unchanged. Volume was 1.33 billion shares valued at RM625.49 million.

The losers included Nestle (M) Bhd, Dutch Lady Milk Industries Bhd, KESM Industries Bhd, Fraser & Neave Holdings Bhd, Chin Teck Plantations Bhd, Heineken Malaysia Bhd, Genting Plantations Bhd, DKSH Holdings (M) Bhd and Frontken Corp Bhd.

The actives included Sapura Energy Bhd, Vivocom International Holdings Bhd, Bumi Armada Bhd, NetX Holdings Bhd, Avillion Bhd, AirAsia Group Bhd and Priceworth International Bhd.

The gainers included Master-Pack Group Bhd, Dufu Technology Corp Bhd, Digi.Com Bhd, MISC Bhd, IHH Healthcare Bhd, Public Bank Bhd and RHB Bank Bhd.

Reuters said Asian markets are set for another bumpy ride on Monday on fears about the hit to world growth from the rapidly spreading coronavirus, with all eyes on China where trading resumes following the Lunar New Year break.

A total of 350 people have died in China from the new virus with the first death out of the mainland reported on Sunday in the Philippines, it said.

Kenanga IB Research said that last Friday, Asian stocks finished lower on intensifying concerns surrounding the coronavirus as the reported death toll exceeded the 200-mark in China.

It said back home, the FBM KLCI inched down by 14.53 points (-0.94%) to close at 1,531.06.

The research house said chart-wise, the index remained below the crucial 1,600-point level and 20-day simple moving average (SMA).

"Coupled with the bearish crossover signal from MACD (moving average convergence divergence), we expect the index to experience a near-term consolidation. A resumption of the uptrend could be underway only when the index breaks out from the existing consolidation pattern by breaching the 1,600-psychological mark convincingly.

"With that, we turned to a neutral stance while lowering key support levels to 1,530 (S1) and 1,500 (S2).

"In addition, the index is still caught inside a medium-term downward sloping channel, which we see a possibility that the FBM KLCI could drift lower towards the psychological threshold of 1,500 (which was last tested in August 2015). Conversely, overhead resistance can be seen at 1,600 (R1) and 1,630 (R2)," it said.