KLCI retraces previous session's gains ahead of Powell speech

  • Business
  • Wednesday, 10 Jul 2019

KUALA LUMPUR: The FBM KLCI erased most of the gains made in the previous session in a sign the domestic market is consolidating ahead of US Federal Reserve chairman Jerome Powell's testimony.

"Chart-wise, the index is consolidating in between 1,650 and 1,700 due to lack of fresh catalyst while key indicator is hovering in the neutral zone. 

"From here, resistances can be found at 1,700 (R1). A break above should see the index trend higher towards 1,730 (R2). Conversely, downside supports can be identified at 1,650 (S1) and 1,600 (S2)," said Kenanga research in its technical outlook.

As the head of the US central bank addresses Congress this week, investors will be tuned in to any indication of direction to the Fed's monetary policy. The chairman is also expected to assert the Fed's independence in setting policy direction in the face of pressure from the White House. 

Regional trading took a sideways direction with most key Asian markets little moved over the morning. China's mainland markets were flat while Hong Kong's Hang Seng Index gained 0.3%. Japan's Nikkei Index was also flat while South Korea's Kospi Index advanced 0.6%.

At 12.30pm, the FBM KLCI was down 4.11 points to 1,678.76. Leading the decline in the morning session was Petronas Chemicals losing 12 sen to RM8.48, Tenaga Nasional dropping eight sen to RM13.76 and Public Bank shedding eight sen to RM22.98.

Trading volume on Bursa Malaysia was 1.3 billion shares exchanging hands to the value of RM985.09mil. There were 382 decliners, 278 gainers and 381 counters unchanged. 

Stocks on investors' radar screens included UWC, which made a flying start on its first trading day with a   49 sen jump to RM1.31.

London Biscuits, which has been classified as a PN17 company, recovered 2.5 sen to 18.5 sen after plunging in the previous session.

Meanwhile, actively traded Green Packet shaved 1.5 sen to 37.5 sen.

Oil prices advanced on Wednesday following a decline in US inventories for a fourth straight week. US crude jumped 81 cents to US$58.64 a barrel and Brent crude gained 62 cents to US$64.78 a barrel.

In currencies, the ringgit was mostly flat against a basket of currencies. It was level against the greenback at 4.1410, the pound sterling at 5.1575 and the Singapore dollar at 3.0403.
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