KLCI subdued as manufacturing sector loses momentum, banks and plantation stocks drag

KLCI subdued as manufacturing sector loses momentum, banks and plantation stocks drag
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KUALA LUMPUR (Oct 1): The main index of Bursa Malaysia kicked off the final quarter of 2020 on a weaker note, in line with subdued regional markets, as the Malaysian manufacturing sector showed signs of losing momentum at the end of the third quarter, while index-linked banks and plantation stocks dragged.

The headline IHS Markit Malaysia Manufacturing Purchasing Managers’ Index (PMI) — a composite single-figure indicator of manufacturing performance — posted 49.0 in September, down fractionally from 49.3 in August and falling for the third month running following June's rebound.

At 10.05am, the FBM KLCI had fallen 5.79 points to 1,499.03.

Gainers led losers by 364 to 322, while 337 counters traded unchanged. Trading volume was 1.41 billion shares valued at RM587.35 million.

The top losers included Nestle (Malaysia) Bhd, Hong Leong Financial Group Bhd, PPB Group Bhd, Public Bank Bhd, Genting Plantations Bhd, Petronas Gas Bhd, MISC Bhd and Malaysian Pacific Industries Bhd.

The actively traded stocks included Kanger International Bhd, XOX Bhd, Iris Corp Bhd, Bintai Kinden Corp Bhd, Prestariang Bhd, Dagang NeXchange Bhd, Trive Property Group Bhd and Advance Synergy Bhd.

The gainers included Scientex Bhd, Hartalega Holdings Bhd, Allianz Malaysia Bhd, ViTrox Corp Bhd, United Plantations Bhd, Batu Kawan Bhd, Time dotCom Bhd and Pentamaster Corp Bhd.

Bloomberg said stock trading in Asia got off to a slow start today as an exchange outage in Japan and numerous markets shut for holidays meant a subdued beginning to the year’s final quarter.

US shares finished higher overnight after a volatile session, it said.

Markets in China, Hong Kong, Taiwan and South Korea are shut for holidays today.

JF Apex Securities Research said US markets rose overnight following hopes that the Senate would pass the US$2.2 trillion (RM9.12 trillion) stimulus package.

It said that earlier, European stocks advanced after the US presidential debate and better-than-expected China manufacturing data.

“On the local market, the KLCI was flat after adding 0.92 points to 1,504.82 points.

“Following the positive performances in the US and Europe, the KLCI could remain buoyed with support at 1,475 points,” it said.