KLCI struggles to keep gains as heavyweight glovemakers drag on vaccine rollout

KLCI struggles to keep gains as heavyweight glovemakers drag on vaccine rollout
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KUALA LUMPUR (Feb 24): The main index at Bursa Malaysia struggled to keep its gains at the midday break Wednesday after index-linked glove makers faced selling pressure as Malaysia's vaccination programme kicked off.

At 12.30pm, the FBM KLCI was up 4.62 points to 1,569.67. The index had earlier risen to a high of 1,581.55.

Losers led gainers by 500 to 298, while 756 counters traded unchanged. Trading volume was 7.41 billion shares valued at RM3.47 billion.

The gainers included Nestle (M) Bhd, Euro Holdings Bhd, Kuala Lumpur Kepong Bhd, Time dotCom Bhd, Ayer Holdings Bhd, Petronas Gas Bhd, Hong Leong Financial Group Bhd, Petronas Chemicals Group Bhd and Syarikat Takaful Malaysia Keluarga Bhd.

The actively traded stocks included XOX Bhd, Metronic Global Bhd, YKGI Holdings Bhd and Industronics Bhd.

The decliners included Hartalega Holdings Bhd, Carlsberg Brewery Malaysia Bhd, Malaysian Pacific Industries Bhd, Supermax Corp Bhd, Top Glove Corp Bhd, Pharmaniaga Bhd and Rapid Synergy Bhd.

Reuters said bond markets steadied, the US dollar fell and stocks edged ahead on Wednesday after central banks from Washington to Wellington vowed to keep monetary policy loose for a long time, giving investors enough confidence to seek out riskier assets.

US Federal Reserve chair Jerome Powell told Congress on Tuesday the economy remained "a long way" from employment and inflation goals and that rates would stay low and bond buying proceed apace until there was "substantial further progress", it said.

Hong Leong IB Research said tracking profit-taking consolidations at Wall Street and regional markets while awaiting more clues on the local corporate earnings front, KLCI is still vulnerable to further fall as the index is unable to surpass the congested 1,584-1,600 resistances.

“Nevertheless, downside risk seems limited near 1,561-1,549-1,528 levels ahead of the planned vaccination programme in Malaysia,” it said.