KLCI slips below 1,600 level as impact of expanded MCO weighs on sentiment

KLCI slips below 1,600 level as impact of expanded MCO weighs on sentiment
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KUALA LUMPUR (Jan 21): The main index at Bursa Malaysia reversed its earlier gains and slipped to below the 1,600-point level at the midday break today as investors digested the impact of the expanded movement control order (MCO) restrictions, against the backdrop of firm regional markets.

At 12.30pm, the FBM KLCI dipped 3.37 points to 1,598.17. The index had earlier risen to a high of 1,615.22.

Losers led gainers by 471 to 239, while 751 counters traded unchanged. Trading volume was 3.85 billion shares valued at RM2.19 billion.

The top losers included Euro Holdings Bhd, Cymao Holdings Bhd, KESM Industries Bhd, PPB Group Bhd, PM Technology Bhd, Petronas Chemicals Group Bhd, Time dotCom Bhd, Genetec Technology Bhd and GHL Systems Bhd.

The actively traded stocks included Lambo Group Bhd, HPP Holdings Bhd, Dagang NeXchange Bhd, AT Systematization Bhd, Fintec Global Bhd, Vsolar Group Bhd, PNE PCB Bhd and Permaju Industries Bhd.

The gainers included Amtel Holdings Bhd, ViTrox Corp Bhd, JF Technology Bhd, Carlsberg Brewery Malaysia Bhd, HPP, Public Bank Bhd, Latitude Tree Holdings Bhd and Eita Resources Bhd.

Reuters said Asian stocks rose to new record highs on Thursday, tracking US markets as investors hoped for more economic stimulus from newly inaugurated US President Joe Biden to offset damage wreaked by the Covid-19 pandemic.

Republicans in the US Congress have indicated they are willing to work with the new president on his administration's top priority, a US$1.9 trillion US fiscal stimulus plan, but some are opposed to the plan's price tag. Democrats took control of the US Senate on Wednesday, but will still need Republican support to pass the program, it said.

Hong Leong IB Research said after violating the key supports of 20D/30D/50D SMAs, the FBM KLCI is expected to extend its range-bound consolidation in the near term (supports 1,562-1,573; resistances: 1,618-1,636-1,650) as investors continue to weigh on the ramifications from the expanded MCO restrictions to the whole of Peninsular Malaysia and the state of emergency declaration coupled with the start of the upcoming 4Q20 reporting season.