KLCI slips below 1,600-point level as regional markets pause

KLCI slips below 1,600-point level as regional markets pause
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KUALA LUMPUR (Feb 17): The main index of Bursa Malaysia slipped below the 1,600-point threshold in the mid-morning today as regional markets paused for a breather.

At 10.15am, the FBM KLCI had lost 8.66 points to 1,597.48.

Market sentiment was tepid with losers leading gainers by 512 to 357, while 439 counters traded unchanged. Trading volume was 3.49 billion shares valued at RM1.45 billion.

The losers included Heineken Malaysia Bhd, Malaysian Pacific Industries Bhd, Hong Leong Bank Bhd (HLB), Petronas Chemicals Group Bhd (PetChem), Pentamaster Corp Bhd, UWC Bhd, Telekom Malaysia Bhd (TM), Hengyuan Refining Company Bhd and Genting Bhd.

The actively traded stocks included DGB Asia Bhd, Sapura Energy Bhd, Dagang NeXchange Bhd (DNeX), AT Systematization Bhd and Dataprep Holdings Bhd.

The gainers included UPA Corp Bhd, Supermax Corp Bhd, Ralco Corp Bhd, VSTECS Bhd, Genetec Technology Bhd, Grand Hoover Bhd, ViTrox Corp Bhd and Tasco Bhd.

Bloomberg said Treasury yields surged to the highest in a year, while global stocks pulled back from a record as investors weighed how an increase in yields could impact risk assets.

Meanwhile, Inter-Pacific Research Sdn Bhd said although the KLCI ended the day in the red yesterday, Malaysian equities were mostly on the ascent with lower liners and broader market shares leading the upside.

In its daily bulletin today, the research house said for the key index, mild profit-taking activities in the afternoon yesterday, particularly on utility giant Tenaga Nasional Bhd (TNB), resulted in it giving up its earlier session’s gains and offsetting advances in oil and gas (O&G) stocks that rose on higher crude oil prices.

Nevertheless, it said trading volume continued to improve as more participants returned to the market amid improving sentiments.

“On the whole, market conditions were still sanguine, riding on hopes that pandemic conditions will be easing with the availability of Covid-19 vaccines.

“As such, there appears to be more room for further near-term upside, particularly as market participation is picking up and foreign selling has dwindled.

“We continue to think that the key index could retest the 1,620 level due to a firmer market undertone, but the upward trajectory could be milder as more pronounced gains could encourage steeper profit taking and derail the ongoing uptrend,” it said.

In addition, Inter-Pacific said there could be some hesitancy with market players waiting for more corporate results to be announced over before the end of the month to gauge earnings growth prospects for the remainder of the year.

It said beyond 1,620 points, the hurdles are at 1,625 and 1,630 points respectively. The support levels, on the other hand, are at 1,600 and 1,590 points, it said.