KUALA LUMPUR (Feb 11): The main index of Bursa Malaysia reversed its earlier loss and crossed the 1,600-point threshold in the mid-morning today as Tenaga Nasional Bhd (TNB) and select index-linked stocks lifted.
At 10am, the FBM KLCI had gained 3.87 points to 1,600.72. The index earlier slipped to a low of 1,594.52.
Gainers led losers by 371 to 334, while 418 counters traded unchanged. Trading volume was 1.19 billion shares valued at RM618.93 million.
The gainers included British American Tobacco (Malaysia) Bhd, UWC Bhd, Heineken Malaysia Bhd, TNB, Malaysian Pacific Industries Bhd, Genetec Technology Bhd, Tasco Bhd, Pentamaster Corp Bhd and Hong Leong Financial Group Bhd.
The actively traded stocks included Sapura Energy Bhd, Dagang NeXchange Bhd (DNeX), Trive Property Group Bhd, Kanger International Bhd, Velesto Energy Bhd, Iris Corp Bhd and AirAsia X Bhd.
The decliners included Nestle (Malaysia) Bhd, Dutch Lady Milk Industries Bhd, PPB Group Bhd, Mesiniaga Bhd, MyEG Services Bhd, Kossan Rubber Industries Bhd, Maxis Bhd and KKB Engineering Bhd.
Reuters said stocks were flat in early trading in Asia today as investors kept tapping the brakes on runs in asset prices after taking in tepid US inflation data and comments from the US Federal Reserve (Fed) chief affirmed the outlook for a slow recovery.
The Australian S&P/ASX 200 Index was last up 0.02%, while e-mini futures for the S&P 500 edged up 0.05%, it said.
Inter-Pacific Research Sdn Bhd said the KLCI saw mixed trading yesterday on a relatively quiet day in the markets but closed higher at the end of trading on the back of a dwindling trade volume and value as investors prepared to go on a break for the Lunar New Year.
In its daily bulletin today, the research house said market breadth was in the negative, with notable winners in the markets yesterday being steel-related counters and banking stocks.
“For the last trading day of the holiday-shortened week, in addition to our local bourse seeing only a half-day trading session today, we opine that market conditions may remain muted following a lack of fresh leads from global peers as investors continue to keep a close watch on further updates on stimulus out of the US, as well as the remaining foreign and local corporate earnings [results] to be doled out in the following weeks to drive market direction.
“Additionally, the sideways trend may yet persist with the closure of China markets for a week beginning today.
“Shaking things up would be the release of Malaysia’s 4Q20 GDP (fourth quarter of 2020's gross domestic product) numbers to be released today, with broad expectations that the prolonged lockdown conditions would weigh on the headline figure,” it said.
The research house said a larger-than-expected dip may trigger some risk-off move and vice versa, but on thin market participation, it expects reactions to be limited.
“We view the key index to remain guarded for the short term with support levels at 1,585 and 1,590. Near-term resistance levels are at 1,600 and 1,610.
“The trading environment among lower liners and broader market shares may see fewer compelling buys as investors take profit towards the tail end of the ‘Chinese New Year rally’,” it said.