KUALA LUMPUR (March 6): The FBM KLCI remained in negative zone at the midday break on Friday as local sentiment stayed tepid and investors stayed on the sidelines in the absence of fresh leads.
At 12.30pm, the FBM KLCI was down 2.33 points to 1,803.76.
Market breadth was weaker with losers outpacing gainers by 326 to 303, while 324 counters traded unchanged. Volume was 1.04 billion shares valued at RM816.47 million.
The top losers included Kuala Lumpur Kepong Bhd, Nestle (M) Bhd, Syarikat Takaful Malaysia Bhd, Perduren (M) Bhd, Petronas Gas Bhd, Petronas Dagangan Bhd, C.I. Holdings Bhd, Southern Acids Bhd and MISC Bhd.
The actives included Ingenuity Consolidated Bhd, Eti Tech Corporation Bhd, Cybertowers Bhd, KNM Group Bhd, Privasia Technology Bhd, SapuraKencana Petroleum Bhd, Perisai Petroleum Teknologi Bhd and Kronologi Asia Bhd.
The gainers included Panasonic Manufacturing Malaysia Bhd, United Plantations Bhd, British American Tobacco (M) Bhd, Guinness Anchor Bhd, Carlsberg Brewery (M) Bhd, Only World Group Holdings Bhd and Amway (M) Holdings Bhd.
The dollar held pole position in Asia on Friday as bulls wagered a looming U.S. jobs report would add to the chance of rate hikes there, even as the European Central Bank embarks on a trillion euro campaign of bond-buying, according to Reuters.
The same balance of risks kept most equity investors cautious with MSCI's broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan up a slim 0.2 percent, it said.
Australia's main index dipped 0.4 percent, while Shanghai edged up 0.2 percent. The major exception was Japan's Nikkei which gained 1 percent to a fresh 15-year top after the yen weakened on the dollar, said Reuters.
BIMB Securities Research said Asian markets were rather mixed on Thursday, affected by the weaker performance on Wall Street and Europe overnight.
“Locally, the FBMKLCI was down 19.45 points at 1,806.09 mainly from foreign selling as yesterday’s net foreign outflow surged to RM269.1 million.
“Meanwhile, Bank Negara Malaysia maintained its OPR at 3.25% which should be good news for investors as we reckon the local bourse should see some upside today with the 1,810 as the immediate resistance level,” it said.