KLCI reverses loss as Genting stocks lift, regional markets stay cautious

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KUALA LUMPUR (March 26): The FBM KLCI reversed its earlier loss and clawed back into the positive zone at mid-morning as Genting-linked stocks gave the bellwether index a boost, against the backdrop of broadly cautious regional markets.

At 10am, the FBM KLCI rose 1.42 points to 1,352.46. The index had earlier fallen to a low of 1,309.21.

Gainers led losers by 326 to 192, while 253 counters traded unchanged. Volume was 724.14 million shares valued at RM388.37 million.

The gainers included Genting Bhd, Genting Malaysia Bhd, Fraser & Neave Holdings Bhd, Nestle (M) Bhd, Time Dotcom Bhd, Hong Leong Bank Bhd, Hartalega Holdings Bhd, United Plantations Bhd and Petronas Gas Bhd.

The actives included Sapura Energy Bhd, AirAsia Group Bhd, Datasonic Group Bhd, Ekovest Bhd and Iskandar Waterfront City Bhd.

The decliners included Kuala Lumpur Kepong Bhd, Carlsberg Brewery Malaysia Bhd, PPB Group Bhd, Hong Leong Financial Group Bhd, Ibraco Bhd, Chin Teck Plantations Bhd, Petronas Dagangan Bhd and Hap Seng Consolidated Bhd.

Reuters said Asian stock markets were poised for a cautious start on Thursday following two days of rallies, as investors await the passage and details of a US$2 trillion stimulus package in the United States to address the economic fallout from the coronavirus.

Senators are set to vote on the plan later on Wednesday in Washington. The bill includes a US$500 billion fund to help hard-hit industries and a comparable amount for direct payments of up to US$3,000 each to millions of US families, it said.

JF Apex Securities Research said US markets ended mixed with the Dow and S&P climbing while the Nasdaq slipped after the White House and Senate agreed on a US$2 trillion coronavirus stimulus bill. 

It said European stocks advanced following the US' stimulus to mitigate the economic impact from the coronavirus outbreak.

“On the local market, the FBM KLCI rose 33.36 points to 1324.50 points.

“Following the positive sentiment in global markets, the FBM KLCI could extend its rebound towards the resistance of 1,370 points,” it said.