KLCI retreats as World Bank lowers Malaysia's 2020 GDP growth outlook

KLCI retreats as World Bank lowers Malaysia's 2020 GDP growth outlook
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KUALA LUMPUR (Sept 29): The main index of Bursa Malaysia retreated in the mid-morning today as the World Bank lowered its gross domestic product (GDP) growth outlook for Malaysia in 2020.

The World Bank in its Macroeconomic Policy Outlook specific to Malaysia said following a sharper-than-expected contraction in the second quarter of 2020 (2Q20), it lowered its 2020 growth forecast for Malaysia to a real GDP contraction of 4.9% (down from -3.1%).

It said this change in the forecast reflects the heightened uncertainty surrounding the start and speed of the global recovery, which would weigh on investment decisions and external demand.

At 10am, the FBM KLCI was down 1.61 points to 1,510.05. The index earlier rose to a high of 1,517.33.

Losers overtook gainers by 359 to 324, while 368 counters traded unchanged. Trading volume was 1.24 billion shares valued at RM820.72 million.

The top losers included Nestle (Malaysia) Bhd, Hartalega Holdings Bhd, Kossan Rubber Industries Bhd, PPB Group Bhd, SCGM Bhd, Carlsberg Brewery Malaysia Bhd, Top Glove Corp Bhd, Hong Leong Financial Group Bhd and Supermax Corp Bhd.

The actively traded stocks included Kanger International Bhd, Dynaciate Group Bhd, Ikhmas Jaya Group Bhd, XOX Bhd, Pintaras Jaya Bhd, Priceworth International Bhd and Aemulus Holdings Bhd.

The gainers included Public Bank Bhd, KLCC Property Holdings Bhd, United Plantations Bhd, Allianz Malaysia Bhd, Malaysian Pacific Industries Bhd, Yinson Holdings Bhd, Scientex Bhd and Pentamaster Corp Bhd.

Reuters said Asian markets looked set to rise today, building on newfound momentum after bargain hunters helped a recovery in US markets after last week's sell-off.

Australian S&P/ASX 200 futures were up 0.64% in early trading, while Japan's Nikkei 225 futures rose 0.21%. Hong Kong's Hang Seng Index futures were up 0.61%, it said.

JF Apex Securities said US markets advanced overnight ahead of the first presidential debate, while the Democrats were proposing a US$2.2 trillion (RM9.18 trillion) stimulus package.

It said that earlier, European stocks climbed following optimism about China's economic recovery and positive export data.

“On the local market, the KLCI added 2.52 points to 1,511.66.

“Following the positive performances in the US and Europe, the KLCI could extend its rebound towards the resistance at 1,550 points,” it said.