KLCI slips below 1,600 level as Petronas-linked stocks weigh

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KUALA LUMPUR (Aug 27): The FBM KLCI reversed its gains and dipped at mid-morning today, dragged by losses at Petronas-linked counters, slipping to below the 1,600-point level.

At 10am, the FBM KLCI dropped 2.56 points to 1,597.97. The index had earlier risen to a high of 1,601.40.

Losers led gainers by 242 to 201, while 285 counters traded unchanged. Volume was 484.72 million shares valued at RM246.44 million.

The losers included Petronas Gas Bhd, Petronas Dagangan Bhd, Allianz Malaysia Bhd, Hong Leong Bank Bhd, GD Express Carrier Bhd, QL Resources Bhd and Ayer Holdings Bhd.

The actives included Green Packet Bhd, Vsolar Group Bhd, MNC Wireless Bhd, AirAsia X Bhd, Greatech Technology Bhd, DRB-Hicom Bhd, KNM Group Bhd and Iris Corp Bhd.

The gainers included Nestle (M) Bhd, Heineken Malaysia Bhd, British American Tobacco (M) Bhd, Fraser & Neave Holdings Bhd, Unisem (M) Bhd, Cahya Mata Sarawak Bhd, IHH Healthcare Bhd, Hap Seng Consolidated Bhd, United Plantations Bhd and DiGi.Com Bhd.

Asian stocks tracked global peers higher on Tuesday while safe-haven bonds sold off as signs Sino-US trade hostilities might be easing helped restore investor confidence after the previous session's rout, according to Reuters.

Supporting the market mood, US President Donald Trump on Monday flagged the possibility of a trade deal with China and said he believed Beijing was sincere in its desire to reach an agreement. Global markets had been roiled at the start of the week by new tariffs from the world's two largest economies, it said.

Hong Leong IB Research said that on Wall Street, the research house opined it will be headlines-driven markets, focusing on Trump's tweets and China's reply on the trade front.

"Hence, should there be any restart of trade talks in the near term, it may suggest further upside on the Dow at least hovering above the SMA200 (200-day simple moving average) for the near term. The Dow's trading range will be within the 25,600-26,400.

"Tracking the Wall Street overnight rebound following positive comments from President Trump, we may anticipate bargain-hunting interest to emerge on the local bourse.

"The FBM KLCI that has briefly closed above the 1,600 psychological level may see further upside towards 1,620.

"Traders could focus on stocks within the technology sector for short-term trading opportunity amid slight up tilt in the trade optimism," it said.