KLCI slips 1.31{02346bf83de6e36140f9a3419962accbe3517f5478f0c39703bb0046727acb31} as investing sentiment sours amid CMCO extension

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KUALA LUMPUR (Dec 18): The FBM KLCI slipped 1.31% or 21.86 points today, tracking declines in regional peers, while news of the conditional movement control order being extended weighed on domestic investing sentiment.

The benchmark index settled at 1,652.49, with 852 counters in the negative versus 370 that climbed, while 474 were unchanged.

Senior Minister Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob announced today that the CMCO will be extended in Selangor, Kuala Lumpur and Sabah till Dec 31, as Covid-19 infections in these places remain elevated. This is the fourth extension of the CMCO that was first imposed on Oct 14 and originally scheduled to end on Oct 27.

The CMCO was also extended till Dec 31 in Seremban and Port Dickson in Negeri Sembilan, and in Johor Bharu, Batu Pahat and Kulai in Johor.

TA Securities Holdings Bhd senior technical analyst Stephen Soo told theedgemarkets.com that window-dressing activities were absent following news about the CMCO extension, which weighed on the sentiment.

Moving onto next week, he expects the benchmark index to continue pulling back ahead of the Christmas holiday week. “Key support for the KLCI will be at 1,590, followed by 1,615, while the immediate resistance is 1,695 and 1,680,” Soo added.

Banking stocks were among the top decliners today, with Public Bank Bhd in the lead after dropping 4% or 86 sen to close at RM20.64. RHB Bank Bhd also fell 2.9% or 16 sen at RM5.39, while Malayan Banking Bhd dropped 2.8% or 24 sen to RM8.46. Also in the decline were Hong Leong Bank Bhd (down 12 sen or 0.6% to RM18.58) and CIMB Group Holdings Bhd (down two sen or 0.5% to RM4.38).

Other top decliners (by value) included Carlsberg Brewery Malaysia Bhd, Hengyuan Refining Co Bhd, Petron Malaysia Refining & Marketing Bhd and Malaysia Airports Holdings Bhd.  

Across Bursa Malaysia, trading volume fell to 8.06 billion units from 9.24 billion shares yesterday, while trading values saw a slight improvement to RM4.4 billion from RM4.33 billion.

Meanwhile, consumer products and services related companies Nestle (M) Bhd, Fraser and Neave Holdings Bhd and British American Tobacco (M) Bhd as well as technology stocks Unisem (M) Bhd and Malaysian Pacific Industries Bhd were among the top gainers today.

The actives, on the other hand, were led by Vsolar Group Bhd, which topped the list after 397.99 million shares were traded. The stock closed half a sen higher at 4.5 sen. Other actively traded stocks included Techna-X Bhd (formerly Sino Hua-An International Bhd), Hiap Teck Ventures Bhd, MNC Wireless Bhd, Puncak Niaga Holdings Bhd, Bintai Kinden Corp Bhd and PA Resources Bhd.

Elsewhere in Asia, Japan’s Nikkei 225 fell 0.16 %, while Seoul’s Kospi inched up 0.06%. In China, Hong Kong’s Hang Seng Index sank 0.67%, while the Shanghai Stock Exchange Composite Index inched down 0.29%.

Reuters reported that Asian stocks fell slightly on Friday, failing to catch a broader global rally, as investor mood in the region shifted to caution about the economic outlook and as post-Brexit worries weighed.