KLCI remains in negative zone as Hartalega, MAHB weigh

-A +A

KUALA LUMPUR (May 16): The FBM KLCI remained in negative territory at mid-morning today, dragged by losses including at Hartalega Holdings Bhd and Malaysia Airports Holdings Bhd (MAHB).

At 10.01am, the FBM KLCI was down 3.09 points to 1,608.34.

Losers led gainers by 278 to 167, while 245 counters traded unchanged. Volume was 637.31 million shares valued at RM351 million.

The losers included Malaysian Pacific Industries Bhd, MAHB, Unisem (M) Bhd, Hartalega, Hong Leong Bank Bhd, Carlsberg Brewery Malaysia Bhd and JF Technology Bhd.

The actives included Leong Hup International Bhd, Lambo Group Bhd, Hubline Bhd, Iris Corp Bhd and Impiana Hotels Bhd.

The gainers included Nestle (M) Bhd, British American Tobacco (M) Bhd, Heineken Malaysia Bhd, Petronas Dagangan Bhd, Pentamaster Corp Bhd, Genting Plantations Bhd, Pharmaniaga Bhd, ViTrox Corp Bhd and Favelle Favco Bhd.

Asian shares steadied on Thursday on news that US President Donald Trump is planning to delay tariffs on auto imports, providing much needed relief to markets hit by a flare-up in trade tensions and on weak US and Chinese economic data, according to Reuters.

MSCI's broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan was flat, with both Australia and South Korea little changed, it said.

Hong Leong IB Research said it continued to detect market complacency on Wall Street after all three market indices returned to the black following Trump's less rhetoric tweets in the last two days and news that the Trump administration plans to delay a decision on instituting new EU tariffs on car and auto part imports for up to six months.

"Overall, trade negotiations between the US and China have not yielded any concrete results, especially those related to theft of intellectual property and forced technology transfer.

"Depending (on) the negotiation outcome in the next 3-4 weeks (ahead of the meeting with (China) President Xi (Jinping) during the G20 Summit on June 28-29), the US President is likely to impose the 25% tariff on the remaining US$320 billion worth of imports from China. Hence, market volatility will prevail although on a less fierce magnitude after the recent rout," it said.

On the FBM KLCI, the research house said the uncertain trade developments could weigh on Bursa Malaysia in the short term, given the heightened US-China trade disputes and tit-for-tat retaliations.

"Nevertheless, the 39-point recovery from 44-month low of 1,572 has injected some kind of stability after recent bouts of foreign selling.

"Despite external hiccups, undervalued export-oriented stocks in technology and gloves sectors (on the back of weakening ringgit) and oil & gas stocks (amid firmer oil prices), coupled with the defensive pharmaceutical companies are likely to stay in focus. Key supports are 1,570-1,580 whilst resistances are pegged at 1,630-1,650," it said.