KLCI pares gains as regional markets hold steady

KLCI pares gains as regional markets hold steady
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KUALA LUMPUR (Feb 16): The main index of Bursa Malaysia pared some of its gains in the mid-morning today against a backdrop of firm regional markets.

At 10.10am, the FBM KLCI had risen 1.40 points to 1,609.47. The index earlier rose to a high of 1,612.04.

Losers led gainers by 449 to 419, while 435 counters traded unchanged. Trading volume was 3.52 billion shares valued at RM1.44 billion.

The gainers included Genetec Technology Bhd, Heineken Malaysia Bhd, Widetech (Malaysia) Bhd, Ark Resources Holdings Bhd, Sapura Industrial Bhd, Hengyuan Refining Company Bhd and Malaysian Pacific Industries Bhd.

The actively traded stocks included DGB Asia Bhd, ARB Bhd, Dagang NeXchange Bhd (DNeX), Luster Industries Bhd and Fintec Global Bhd.

The decliners included Petronas Dagangan Bhd (PetDag), Euro Holdings Bhd, Unisem (M) Bhd, Formosa Prosonic Industries Bhd, Amtel Holdings Bhd and Telekom Malaysia Bhd (TM).

Reuters said global shares held firm today, with a solid foundation in place to extend their bull run to a 12th consecutive session as optimism about the global economic recovery and expectations of low interest rates drove investments in riskier assets.

Oil prices soared to a 13-month high as a deep freeze due to a severe snowstorm in the US not only boosted power demand but also threatened oil production in Texas, it said.

Inter-Pacific Research Sdn Bhd said Bursa ushered in the Lunar New Year on a firm footing as stocks rose to their highest levels in a month amid improving sentiments for global equities that allowed for the key index to jump pass the psychological 1,600-point level.

In its daily bulletin today, the research house said the gains were broad-based as well with market breadth overwhelmingly positive on renewed following of broader market shares, resulting in trading volume surpassing the 10 billion shares mark for the first time in more than a month.

It said with momentum continuing to build up, coupled with improving Covid-19 conditions globally, it sees further near-term upside for stocks on the KLCI.

Inter-Pacific said concerns over pandemic conditions are easing as infectivity rates are falling around the world, while vaccine availability is also helping to calm markets further.

“Meanwhile, rising oil prices are also helping to renew interest among oil and gas (O&G) stocks that would further buoy near-term market sentiments, in our view.

“As such, we also see increased market participation as more participants return to the market and this could push the key index to retest the 1,620 level in the near term.

“Further ahead, the resistance [levels] are at 1,627 and 1,638 points respectively. The support [levels], on the other hand, are at 1,600 and 1,590 points respectively,’ it said.

The research house said lower liners and broader market shares had also powered ahead, with rotational and speculative interest still prevalent, and it sees further near-term gains despite their already toppish conditions.

“As it is, more retail players are returning to the fray and this will further fortify lower liners and broader market shares’ near-term ascent,” it said.