KUALA LUMPUR (Jan 18): The main index of Bursa Malaysia remained in the negative zone, in line with the retreat in regional markets, and fell 0.7% in the mid-morning today.
At 10.01am, the FBM KLCI was down 11.40 points at 1,615.61.
Market breadth was tepid with 551 losers and 311 gainers, while 354 counters traded unchanged. Trading volume was 1.73 billion shares valued at RM840.78 million.
The top losers included Nestle (Malaysia) Bhd, Heineken Malaysia Bhd, Kuala Lumpur Kepong Bhd (KLK), Euro Holdings Bhd, PPB Group Bhd, Hong Leong Bank Bhd (HLB), Asia File Corp Bhd, Malaysia Airports Holdings Bhd (MAHB) and Hong Leong Capital Bhd.
The actively traded stocks included Pegasus Heights Bhd, XOX Bhd, PNE PCB Bhd, Kanger International Bhd and AT Systematization Bhd.
The gainers included Malaysian Pacific Industries Bhd, Kobay Technology Bhd, JF Technology Bhd, PMB Technology Bhd, UWC Bhd, Dutch Lady Milk Industries Bhd and G3 Global Bhd.
Reuters said Asian share markets retreated from highs today as disappointing news of US consumer spending tempered risk sentiment ahead of a closely-watched reading of the health of the Chinese economy.
Also evident were doubts about how much of US President-elect Joe Biden's stimulus package will make it through Congress given Republican opposition, and the risk of more mob violence at his inauguration on Wednesday, it said.
Inter-Pacific Research Sdn Bhd said there was more weakness in the KLCI last Friday, losing ground ahead of the weekend as it continued to succumb to profit taking after the market’s bounce a few days earlier.
In its daily bulletin, the research house said this time, it was banking stocks that retreated with concerns that the ongoing movement control order (MCO) could further dampen the economy and prospects for the banking sector.
In addition, it said market interest also thinned with volume slipping to its two-week low, while market breadth was still negative.
“With few leads and the MCO conditions dominating, market sentiments are likely to stay indifferent, and we see Malaysian equities continuing to drift for the time being.
“The indifference is also resulting in market participation thinning as more market players are opting to stay on the sidelines as they assess the impact of the latest lockdown on the economy and corporate earnings, which are likely to remain subdued in 1Q21 (the first quarter of 2021).
“As such, we think that the range-bound trend could keep the key index lingering within the 1,620 and 1,640 levels for now, with the other support and resistance levels at 1,610 and 1,650 points respectively,” it said.
Inter-Pacific said after posting a decent rebound in the past few sessions, lower liners and broader market shares are once again starting to look toppish.
“Consequently, we think that further near-term gains could be capped amid the reduced market following that is also likely to leave most stocks in these categories to drift for now,” it said.