KLCI reverses gains as Covid-19 spread and Sino-American tensions overshadow manufacturing growth

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KUALA LUMPUR (July 1): The FBM KLCI reversed its gains and slipped below the 1,500-level at mid-morning today as the Covid-19 spread and Sino-American tensions overshadowed Malaysia's manufacturing growth.

Malaysia's manufacturing sector returned to growth in June as lockdown measures aimed at stemming the spread of Covid-19 were partially lifted.

The headline IHS Markit Malaysia Manufacturing Purchasing Managers' Index rose sharply to 51 in June, its highest since September 2018.

As at 10am, the FBM KLCI was down 2.3 points to 1,498.67. The index had earlier risen to a high of 1,508.2.

Gainers led losers by 358 to 259, while 349 counters traded unchanged. Trading volume was 1.88 billion shares valued at RM557.72 million.

The top losers included Fraser & Neave Holdings Bhd, Carlsberg Brewery Malaysia Bhd, Hap Seng Consolidated Bhd, PPB Group Bhd, Genting Plantations Bhd, Yinson Holdings Bhd, Westports Holdings Bhd and IHH Healthcare Bhd.

The actives included Pegasus Heights Bhd, AT Systematization Bhd, Hubline Bhd, Vsolar Group Bhd, Sasbadi Holdings Bhd, Iris Corp Bhd, Anzo Holdings Bhd and Luster Industries Bhd.

The gainers included Nestle (M) Bhd, Chin Teck Plantations Bhd, Dutch Lady Milk Industries Bhd, Kossan Rubber Industries Bhd, Hartalega Holdings Bhd, Allianz Malaysia Bhd, Kuala Lumpur Kepong Bhd, Top Glove Corp Bhd and Teck Guan Perdana Bhd.

Bloomberg said Asian stocks started a new quarter in a muted fashion, as investors assessed mixed data on the global economy amid concerns over the Covid-19 spread and Sino-American tensions.

Shares were little changed in Japan, with sentiment capped as confidence among large manufacturers in the country fell to the lowest since 2009. Stocks ticked higher in Australia, while South Korea saw bigger advances. Hong Kong is closed for a holiday. S&P 500 futures slipped after the gauge rounded out a 20% second-quarter surge with US consumer confidence posting its biggest increase since 2011. Treasuries were little changed and the dollar edged higher. Gold traded near US$1,800 an ounce, it said.

Hong Leong IB Research said following a highly welcomed measure by Bursa/SC last Friday to prolong the short-selling suspension (from June 30 to Dec 31, 2020) coupled with further recovery on Wall Street, KLCI is expected to retest immediate resistance at 1,511 or 200D SMA.

"Breaking this hurdle successfully will lift KLCI further towards stiff 1,533 (long-term downtrend line from 1,896) and 1,550 resistances, given the heightened concerns over the possibility of an aggressive second-wave Covid-19 surge in global hotspots, US-China trade tension and uncertainty in the local political scene when Parliament resumes on July 13," it said.