KLCI retreats as sentiment turns bearish



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KUALA LUMPUR (April 20); The FBM KLCI retreated at the midday break today as market sentiment turned bearish.

At 12.30pm, the local index shed 2.23 points to 1,843.63.

Losers overtook gainers by 442 to 264, while 305 counters traded unchanged. Volume was 1.64 billion shares valued at RM939.98 million.

The top losers included United Plantations Bhd, British American Tobacco (M) Bhd, Fraser & Neave Holdings Bhd, Kuala Lumpur Kepong Bhd, Genting Plantations Bhd, Scientex Bhd, Genting Malaysia Bhd, MISC Bhd and Pos Malaysia Bhd.

Bioalpha Holdings Bhd was the most actively traded traded counter with 148.91 million shares done. The stock jumped 12.99% or five sen to 43.5 sen.

The other actives included Frontken Corporation Bhd, Tenaga Nasional Bhd, Malayan Banking Bhd, Axiata Group Bhd, Kanger International Bhd, Telekom Malaysia Bhd and IJM Corporation Bhd.

The top gainers included Panasonic Manufacturing Malaysia Bhd. Tasco Bhd, Tenaga, Syarikat Takaful Malaysia Bhd, Globetronics Technology Bhd, Pharmaniaga Holdings Bhd and Unisem (M) Bhd.

Stock markets in China and Japan rose on Monday after Beijing's latest stimulus to shore up the world's second-largest economy underpinned sentiment and helped limit losses across the rest of Asia, according to Reuters.

China's central bank on Sunday cut the amount of cash that banks must hold as reserves, the second industry-wide cut in two months, adding more liquidity to bolster slowing growth, it said.

JF Apex Securities Research said US markets declined sharply after changes in China's trading rules that allow more short selling.

Similarly, it said European stocks dropped following concern on Greece's debt negotiations.

“On the local market, the FBM KLCI shed 2.08 points to 1845.86 points.

“Following the bearish sentiment in global markets, we expect the KLCI to be negative today with support at 1830 points,” it said.