KLCI pulls back as regional markets slip on rising tensions over Hong Kong; glove makers advance

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KUALA LUMPUR (May 27): The FBM KLCI pulled back at the midday break today, tracking regional markets as rising tensions between the US and China over Hong Kong security laws left investors on tenterhooks, while index-linked glove makers extended their gains.

At 12.30pm, the FBM KLCI was up 13.45 points to 1,450.21. The index had earlier risen to a high of 1,458.24.

Gainers led losers by 412 to 242, while 615 counters traded unchanged. Trading volume was a brisk 3.97 billion shares valued at RM2.63 billion.

The top gainers included Nestle (Malaysia) Bhd, Top Glove Corp Bhd, Hartalega Holdings Bhd, Supermax Corp Bdh, QL Resources Bhd, Kossan Rubber Industries Bhd, United Plantations Bhd, Pharmaniaga Bhd, Fraser & Neave Holdings Bhd and Hong Leong Industries Bhd.

The actives included Key Alliance Group Bhd, Datasonic Group Bhd, GD Express Carrier Bhd, Velesto Energy Bhd, Sapura Energy Bhd, Ekovest Bhd, KNM Group Bhd, MyEG Services Bhd, Bumi Armada Bhd and EA Holdings Bhd.

The decliners included British American Tobacco (Malaysia) Bhd, Dutch Lady Milk Industries Bhd, Chin Teck Plantations Bhd, MyEG, JAKS Resources Bhd, Oriental Interest Bhd and Warisan TC Holdings Bhd.

Reuters said Asian shares slipped today as investor concerns about rising tensions between the US and China tempered optimism about a reopening of the world economy.

US President Donald Trump said last night he was preparing to take action against China this week over its effort to impose national security laws on Hong Kong, but gave no further details. Hong Kong shares led declines among major regional indices, with Hang Seng falling 0.46%, though it kept a bit of distance from a two-month low touched on Monday. MSCI's ex-Japan Asia-Pacific Index lost 0.12%, with mainland Chinese shares down a similar amount, it said.

Kenanga Research said Asian stocks ended mostly lower last Friday as the spotlight returned to heightening US-China tensions and the economic fallout from the Covid-19 pandemic outbreak.

It said back home, the KLCI dropped 15.35 points (-1.06%) to finish at 1,436.76.

“Following the formation of a 'Golden Cross', the index looks to be in an attempt to test its 100-day SMA (simple moving average).

“Coupled with a bullish MACD (moving average convergence divergence) signal and continuous upticks from its momentum indicators, the index may continue to trend higher.

“On the chart, our resistance-turned-support levels stand at 1,400 (S1) and 1,360 (S2),” it said.