Sentiment turns tepid as Malaysia exports drop the most in 3 years

Sentiment turns tepid as Malaysia exports drop the most in 3 years
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KUALA LUMPUR (Nov 5): The FBM KLCI just about held on to the 1,600-point level at mid-morning today as market sentiment turned tepid after Malaysia, in September, suffered its steepest drop in exports in three years as all major sectors weakened.

At 10.10am, the FBM KLCI dipped 2.16 points to 1,600.95.

Losers led gainers by 279 to 247, while 313 counters traded unchanged. Volume was 764.77 million shares valued at RM339.45 million.

The top losers included Nestle (M) Bhd, British American Tobacco (M) Bhd, Latitude Tree Holdings Bhd, Press Metal Aluminium Holdings Bhd, Apollo Food Holdings Bhd, Hong Leong Bank Bhd, MISC Bhd and Cycle & Carriage Bintang Bhd.

The actives included Eduspec Holdings Bhd, IFCA MSC Bhd, Sapura Energy Bhd, Mudajaya Group Bhd, Velesto Energy Bhd and Uzma Bhd.

The gainers included Hong Leong Industries Bhd, Southern Acids (M) Bhd, Kuala Lumpur Kepong Bhd, Serba Dinamik Holdings Bhd, Mesiniaga Bhd, Malaysian Pacific Industries Bhd, Ornapaper Bhd, Mega First Corp Bhd and FACB Industries Incorporated Bhd.

Asian shares closed in on their July peak on Tuesday on increasing signs the United States and China are inching closer to a truce in their trade war and on optimism the US economy is well poised for solid, consumer-driven growth, according to Reuters.

MSCI's broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan was little changed in early trade after hitting a four-month high the previous day, it said.

Hong Leong IB Research said last week's interest rate cut by the US Federal Reserve, hopes of a trade deal and a better-than-feared October jobs growth data have been the main catalysts of the recent rally.

Moreover, the research house said sentiment was likely to be further enhanced by the ongoing upbeat US 3Q19 reporting season as the S&P 500 earnings (over 75% reported results so far beat earnings estimates) is expected to fall only around 2% year-on-year from -4.9% before the start of the earnings season.

It said that locally, the relief rally from four-year low of 1,548.5 (Oct 10) could still have legs towards 1,616-1,638 zones amid subdued interest rates, signs of progress in the US-China trade talks, encouraging US jobs data as well as riding on the traditional year-end window dressing.

"Meanwhile, expectations that BNM to remain status quo in OPR meeting today (bodes well for bank shares) and hopes of fewer earnings disappointments in the ongoing Nov reporting season should provide further impetus to Bursa Malaysia," it said.