KLCI retreats as sentiment turns tepid

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KUALA LUMPUR (March 19): The FBM KLCI retreated at the midday break today as investor sentiment turned tepid and most indices fell.

At 12.30pm, the FBM KLCI dipped 1.44 points to 1,689.50. The index had earlier risen to its intra-morning high of 1,694.89.

Losers beat gainers by 456 to 149, while 491 counters traded unchanged. Volume was 1.85 billion shares valued at RM896.04 million.

The losers included Nestle (M) Bhd, Petronas Dagangan Bhd, Lingkaran Trans Kota Holdings Bhd, Dayang Enterprise Holdings Bhd, Can-One Bhd, Ajinomoto (M) Bhd, Naim Holdings Bhd and Apex Healthcare Bhd.

The actives included Sapura Energy Bhd, Metronic Global Bhd, Dayang, Perdana Petroleum Bhd, Eden Inc Bhd, Bumi Armada Bhd, Sino Hua-An International Bhd, PUC Bhd and Seacera Group Bhd.

The gainers included Fraser & Neave Holdings Bhd, Magni-Tech Industries Bhd, PMB Technology Bhd, Eng Kah Corp Bhd, Allianz Malaysia Bhd, Tenaga Nasional Bhd, Syarikat Takaful Malaysia Keluarga Bhd, Carlsberg Brewery Malaysia Bhd, Hong Leong Bank Bhd and Transcocean Holdings Bhd.

Asian shares held tight ranges on Tuesday ahead of a US Federal Reserve policy meeting, but were broadly supported near six-month highs on expectations the central bank might strike a dovish tone, while fresh Brexit worries dogged the pound, according to Reuters.

MSCI's broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan was flat, easing back from its highest level since Sept 21 hit earlier in the session, it said.

Affin Hwang Capital Research said the FBM KLCI Index started off the week strongly, following gains seen stateside, rising 10.4 points or 0.62% on Monday.

"The index settled at 1,690.94 and has been staging a rebound for the past five days. Prices are now hovering around the EMA20d (20-day exponential moving average) & EMA50d and we may see sellers come into play at current levels.

"However, technical indicators are suggesting that there are more potential upside still to be made by the index. 1) MACD (moving average convergence divergence) is steadily converging towards Signal line, 2) RSI (relative strength index) & Stochastic have just exited oversold regions, heading north.

"Hence, investors advised to be extra cautious heading into the trading session today. FBM KLCI Index resuming its short-term downtrend," it said.