KLCI stays in negative zone along with spooked regional markets

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KUALA LUMPUR (March 8): The FBM KLCI remained in negative territory at the midday break today, as regional markets were spooked by global growth concerns.

At 12.30pm, the FBM KLCI fell 4.08 points to 1,682.87.

Losers led gainers by 354 to 217, while 461 counters traded unchanged. Volume was 1.39 billion shares valued at RM958.62 million.

The decliners included Malaysian Pacific Industries Bhd, Tasek Corp Bhd, Heineken Malaysia Bhd, Panasonic Manufacturing Malaysia Bhd, Petronas Gas Bhd and PPB Group Bhd.

The actives included Dayang Enterprise Holdings Bhd, KNM Group Bhd, My EG Services Bhd, Malayan Flour Mills Bhd, Sapura Energy Bhd and Econpile Holdings Bhd.

The gainers included Dayang, Petronas Chemicals Group Bhd, George Kent (M) Bhd, Coastal Contracts Bhd, Allianz Malaysia Bhd and Bursa Malaysia Bhd.

Asian stocks shuddered lower on Friday after the European Central Bank (ECB) slashed its growth forecasts and surprised everyone with a new of policy stimulus, leaving investors fearing the worst for the global economy, according to Reuters.

ECB President Mario Draghi said the economy was in "a period of continued weakness and pervasive uncertainty" as he pushed out a planned rate hike and instead offered banks a new round of cheap loans, the newswire reported.

CIMB Retail Research said tracking the mixed performance across the regional markets, the FBM KLCI Index closed flat yesterday as US tensions with China reached new heights after Chinese tech giant Huawei filed a lawsuit against the US on Thursday.

"Given that Citigroup cut its target for the FBM KLCI index to 1,790 from 1,844 on Thursday following the disappointing local corporate earnings, more similar scenarios may be seen in the following days, in our opinion.

"Coupled with a lack of fresh catalysts, we are of the view that the local bourse may consolidate further today. Resistance: 1,700 & 1,730. Support: 1,682 & 1,670," it said.