KLCI stays subdued in line with region as sentiment remains cautious

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KUALA LUMPUR (Feb 17): The FBM KLCI was subdued in line with regional markets at the midday break today, as sentiment was tepid with cautious investors.

At 12.30pm, the FBM KLCI was down 1.18 points to 1,543.28.

Gainers edged losers by 285 to 257, while 552 counters traded unchanged. Volume was 1.77 billion shares valued at RM921.35 million.

The top losers included Panasonic Manufacturing Malaysia Bhd, Fraser & Neave Holdings Bhd, LPI Capital Bhd, Top Glove Corp Bhd, Ayer Holdings Bhd, PPB Group Bhd, UMW Holdings Bhd, Sarawak Consolidated Industries Bhd and Maxis Bhd.

The actives included Securemetric Bhd, DGB Asia Bhd, Powerwell Holdings Bhd, Bumi Armada Bhd, Sapura Energy Bhd, Perdana Petroleum Bhd, XOX Bhd and FoundPac Group Bhd.

The gainers included Dutch Lady Milk Industries Bhd, Petronas Dagangan Bhd, G3 Global Bhd, Hengyuan Refining Company Bhd, Icon Offshore Bhd, Petron Malaysia Refining & Marketing Bhd, Hong Leong Financial Group Bhd, Carlsberg Brewery Malaysia Bhd and QL Resources Bhd.

Reuters said most Southeast Asian stock markets were subdued in thin trading on Monday, as stimulus measures from China helped cushion the impact from the Covid-19 epidemic on regional economies.

It said as governments unleash more monetary loosening to protect their economies, China's central bank lowered one of its key interest rates, paving the way for a cut in its benchmark loan prime rate, which will be announced on Thursday.

Affin Hwang Capital Research said the FBM KLCI gained 5.3 points or 0.3%, to close at 1,544.46 on Friday (Feb 14).

It said the brief technical rebound seen recently is perceived to have ended and the resumption of the prevailing downward movement is currently in progress.

“Overall, we opine that the index may trade sideways with downward bias, potentially retesting the 1,520 key level in the near term.

“On a side note, investors/traders can pay closer attention to the health care and technology sectors. In terms of technical[s], these two sectors are steadily trending higher which shows a positive sign in the near future.

“Anticipate the index to trade with downward bias,” it said.