KUALA LUMPUR (Jan 8): The main index of Bursa Malaysia hovered above the 1,600-point level but remained in the negative zone before the midday break today as index-linked banking heavyweights dragged.
At 12.30pm, the FBM KLCI was down 2.19 points at 1,600.76.
Market breadth was tepid with 532 losers and 217 gainers, while 703 counters traded unchanged. Trading volume was 3.86 billion shares valued at RM2.44 billion.
The top losers included Nestle (Malaysia) Bhd, CN Asia Corp Bhd, Carlsberg Brewery Malaysia Bhd, Dutch Lady Milk Industries Bhd, Heineken Malaysia Bhd, Petronas Gas Bhd, Maxis Bhd and Tenaga Nasional Bhd (TNB).
Among banking stocks that fell were CIMB Group Holdings Bhd, Malayan Banking Bhd (Maybank), Public Bank Bhd and RHB Bank Bhd.
The actively traded stocks included AT Systematization Bhd, Key Alliance Group Bhd, Vortex Consolidated Bhd, Compugates Holdings Bhd, Top Glove Corp Bhd and HLT Global Bhd.
The gainers included KESM Industries Bhd, Oriental Interest Bhd, Malaysian Pacific Industries Bhd, Hartalega Holdings Bhd, Careplus Group Bhd, Petronas Chemicals Group Bhd, Supermax Corp Bhd, Comfort Gloves Bhd and Top Glove.
Reuters said Asian shares rose to record highs today, with Japan's Nikkei hitting a three-decade peak as investors looked beyond rising coronavirus cases and political unrest in the US to focus on hopes for an economic recovery later in the year.
The upbeat mood came after Wall Street hit record highs yesterday, while bond prices fell as markets bet a new Democratic-controlled government would lead to heavy spending and borrowing to support the US economic recovery, it said.
Hong Leong Investment Bank (HLIB) Research said despite an eleventh-hour rebound to end 11 points higher at 1,603 yesterday, the KLCI may continue to remain highly volatile (support levels: 1,562-1,575; resistance: 1,618-1,638) as the recent significant spike in local Covid-19 cases and clusters may force the government to institute further targeted movement control order (MCO) restrictions before there are more serious repercussions for the rakyat and the economy nationwide.
“On stock selection, the WHO’s (World Health Organization) warning of a tipping point in the fight against the coronavirus pandemic, amid growing fears over more infectious variants of the virus (discovered in the UK and South Africa), may bode well for more sustainable trading interest in glove stocks after [they] staged a relief rally in the last two days,” it said.