KLCI reverses gains as index-linked stocks weigh

KLCI reverses gains as index-linked stocks weigh
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KUALA LUMPUR (Feb 20): The FBM KLCI reversed its earlier gains and dipped at mid-morning as losses at index-linked stocks weighed on the index.

At 10am, the FBM KLCI shed 0.35 points to 1,533.81. The index had earlier risen to a high of 1,538.27.

Losers led gainers by 303 to 237, while 282 counters traded unchanged. Volume was 829.46 million shares valued at RM427.12 million.

The losers included Fraser & Neave Holdings Bhd, Hong Leong Financial Group Bhd, Top Glove Corp Bhd, Manulife Holdings Bhd, Hap Seng Consolidated Bhd, Malaysia Airports Holdings Bhd, Genting Plantations Bhd and Supermax Corp Bhd.

The actives included newly-listed InNature Bhd, Powerwell Holdings Bhd, DGB Asia Bhd, My EG Services Bhd, Sapura Energy Bhd, JAG Bhd and Bumi Armada Bhd.

The gainers included Nestle (M) Bhd, Heineken Malaysia Bhd, Carlsberg Brewery Malaysia Bhd, Panasonic Manufacturing Malaysia Bhd, Ajinomoto (M) Bhd, Public Bank Bhd and Hume Industries Bhd.

Reuters said Asian stocks edged up on Thursday, supported by a fall in Covid-19 cases and expectations of more Chinese stimulus to offset the economic impact of the epidemic, while the Japanese yen nursed heavy losses after suffering its steepest drop in six months.

The epicentre of the outbreak in China's Hubei reported just 349 new cases on Thursday, the lowest since Jan 25, although it was accompanied by a change in diagnosis rules, it said.

Hong Leong IB Research said in the near term, investors will continue to assess the real impact of the coronavirus outbreak, which may significantly weaken a global economy that is already in a precarious position and may trigger a serious reckoning for frothy financial markets.

“Nevertheless, US investors found comfort in recent Fed statement, better-than-expected earnings reports and a signal that the Fed stands ready to act if needed. We see the Dow to trend range bound within the 28,700-30,000 band.

“Given the Covid-19 threatened to become a pandemic that thwarts global growth and flags recession fears, KLCI is likely to lock in consolidation mode during the busy Feb reporting season, ahead of the outcome from PH Presidential council meeting (Feb 21) to discuss the transition plan for the post of prime minister as well as stimulus measure announcement by the government on Feb 27,” it said.