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KLCI down 0.95% as disappointing economic outlook and manufacturing data weigh

TheEdge Wed, Apr 01, 2020 01:07pm - 1 month ago

KUALA LUMPUR (April 1): The FBM KLCI fell 0.95% at the midday break today as some disappointing economic outlook and poorer manufacturing data kept sentiment gloomy at the local bourse while key index-linked stocks dragged.

On March 31, the World Bank lowered its gross domestic product (GDP) target for Malaysia to -0.1% in 2020, against the backdrop of growing uncertainty over the duration and overall impact of the Covid-19 outbreak.

Meanwhile, the headline IHS Markit Malaysia Manufacturing Purchasing Managers’ Index (PMI) fell to 48.4 in March, from 48.5 in February, signalling a further drop in momentum across the Malaysian goods-producing sector.

IHS Markit said today that the survey's output index fell to its lowest level since June 2016 during March, signalling a sharp slowdown in manufacturing production in Malaysia.

At 12.30pm, the FBM KLCI lost 12.78 points to 1,338.11.

Gainers led losers by 449 to 204, while 445 counters traded unchanged. Volume was 3.06 billion shares valued at RM1.38 billion.

The top losers included Petronas Dagangan Bhd, Nestle (M) Bhd, Carlsberg Brewery Malaysia Bhd, Heineken Malaysia Bhd, Hong Leong Bank Bhd, Petronas Chemicals Group Bhd, Petronas Gas Bhd, Genting Plantations Bhd, Kuala Lumpur Kepong Bhd and Tenaga Nasional Bhd.

The actives included Sapura Energy Bhd, Trive Property Group Bhd, Bumi Armada Bhd, Alam Maritim Resources Bhd, KNM Group Bhd, Velesto Energy Bhd, Hibiscus Petroleum Bhd, Jaks Resources Bhd, My EG Services Bhd and Sanichi Technology Bhd.

The gainers include Aeon Credit Service (M) Bhd, Hong Leong Industries Bhd, Genting Bhd, Kumpulan Powernet Bhd, Rapid Synergy Bhd, Allianz Malaysia Bhd and Bintulu Port Holdings Bhd.

Reuters said Asian stocks clung to gains on Wednesday, helped by a bounce in Australian shares, but risks for equities remain large as the coronavirus pandemic rattles the underpinnings of the global economy.

E-Mini futures for the S&P 500 traded 1.39% lower in Asian trade, highlighting the cautious mood, it said.

Hong Leong IB Research said tracking the 1.8% retracement on the Dow overnight, KLCI could experience profit-taking pullback after rallying 11.8% or 143 pts from a low of 1,207 as the strong exponential growth of catastrophic Covid-19 infections worldwide raised concerns over the damaging impact on the global economy.

“We reiterate 'Sell Into Strength' strategy and rebalance portfolio to sectors that are deemed to be more defensive as the world has clearly entered a recession (based on IMF) due to the coronavirus pandemic,” it said.

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