KLCI pares gains, oil and gas stocks in focus

KUALA LUMPUR: The benchmark FBM KLCI pared early gains to settle the negative territory on Monday while oil and gas (O&G) counters were in focus. 

At 12.30pm, the 30-stock index was down 1.6 points, or 0.09%  lower to 1,827.23. The index opened 6.38 points higher at 1,835.21 this morning. There were 453 stocks advancing against 413 stocks declining while 381 counters unchanged. Volume stood at 2.44 billion units worth RM1.1bil.

The ringgit retreats against the US dollar today on cautious demand for the local currency and ahead of Bank Negara’s Monetary Policy Committee meeting this Thursday. At midday, the ringgit was quoted at 3.9402 against the greenback. 

Oanda Corp head of trading for Asia Pacific, Stephen Innes said with absolutely no protest from BNM about the stronger ringgit, the door is wide open for the local currency to continue its appreciation.

“The ringgit remained undervalued versus regional peers as expressed through a trade-weighted average which suggests the fair value of the local currency should be closer to 3.50-3.70,” he said. 

Meanwhile, Hong Leong Investment Bank Research (HLIB) expects mild jitters on the market following the news on the US Government shutdown.  

“However, we think the downside will be well absorb ahead of the February reporting season in the anticipation of a better 4Q results. If the KLCI is holding well above 1,800, the key index may retest 1,840,” it said. 

“Despite the FBM KLCI recovering above SMA10 last Friday on the back of buying interest on selected heavyweights, the MACD Line continues to suggest a downward bias view following the crossover signal. 

“Also, RSI and Stochastics oscillators are weakening. If the immediate support of 1,820 is violated, next support will be at 1,800. On the flip side, if KLCI advances above 1,829, it may suggest a retest of 1,840,” HLIB said. 

O&G related counters continued to dominate the list of most active stocks on the local bourse today. Sumatec was the top traded counter, falling 0.5 sen to 10 sen with 212.8 million shares traded. 

Sapura Energy declined 1.5 sen to 82.5 sen with 89.5 million shares exchanged hands while UMW Oil & Gas rose 0.5 sen to 37 sen with 77 million shares traded. 

Top losers on Bursa Malaysia included British American Tobacco which tumbled 98 sen to RM32.02, Ajinomoto fell 40 sen to RM20.30, Petron Malaysia declined 28 sen to RM12.92 and Petronas Gas eased 24 sen to RM17.96.

The gainers included Dutch Lady added 90 sen to RM62.98, Hengyuan gained 52 sen to RM14.82 and Hong Leong Bank rose 38 sen to RM17.90.

Elsewhere in the region, Japan’s Nikkei 225 was down 0.22% at 23,756.03, the Shanghai Composite Index gained 0.22% to 3,495.41 points, Hong Kong’s Hang Seng index fell 0.04%, to 32,240.78 and South Korea’s Kospi fell 1% at 2,495.11 points.
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