REVIEW: There was an all-too-familiar trading pattern on Bursa Malaysia over the past week, as the charts showed early morning jumps on optimism over news flow only to see prices eroded moving into midday.
For four out of the five sessions this past week, profit-taking activities following a brief rally brought the FBM KLCI into the red.
The losses from Monday through Wednesday were significant and took the index below the 1,580 support and approaching the next support at 1,550.
A large portion of the losses seen on the FBM KLCI was owing to a rout in glove stocks, as the arrival of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine on Malaysia’s shores on Sunday and an early rollout of the inoculation programme sent investors on a selling spree.
Top Glove fell about 13% over the week while Hartalega and Supermax fell about 17% each.
Still, these stocks alone were not the sole cause of the sharp decline on the FBM KLCI.
The impending corporate earnings results made investors jittery, which explained why the morning rallies on the market were prone to such rapid profit-taking.
Adding pressure to global equities at midweek was fears of policy tightening in the US and China, as well as rising US Treasury yields as the US fiscal stimulus package came closer to fruition.
This put pressure on the stretched valuations of equities and technology counters in particular.
On Wednesday, a slump in China’s markets dragged down the regional performance. China’s composite index fell 2% while Hong Kong’s Hang Seng index succumbed to a 3% drop, with losses exacerbated by an increase in trading stamp duty.
By Wednesday’s close, the FBM KLCI had lost over 27 points over three sessions to 1,557.55.
At just several points distance from the 200-day simple moving average (SMA) line, it seemed that a rebound off the crucial resistance was in the offing.
Banks and commodity plays rallied on Thursday, shoring up the index past the 1,580 level.
Dividend announcements by Maybank and Public Bank as well as a surge in Press Metal Aluminium’s share price lifted the FBM KLCI 23.99 points to 1,581.84, putting the recovery story back into focus for the moment.
However, panic gripped global markets on Friday on fears that surging bond yields would result in distressed selling in equities.
The FBM KLCI dropped 3.79 points, reaffirming losses for the week.
Statistics: The major index ended the week 7.18 points or 0.4% lower over the previous Friday at 1,577.75.
Total turnover for the trading week stood at 57.73 billion shares amounting to RM31.85bil compared with 61.62 billion shares worth RM28.8bil in the previous trading week.
Outlook: The FBM KLCI ended the week below the 1,580 line, which serves as a negative indication for its short-term price movement.
While Thursday’s strong bounce offered some reprieve to the selling pressure, yesterday’s sell-off confirmed that the investors are taking a step back from the lofty valuations of equities.
The index is taking on a range-bound movement below the 1,580 mark, which now serves as the immediate resistance.
With a growing convergence of simple moving averages in this area, there would need to be some fresh buying catalyst to take the index to greener pastures at 1,600.
Meanwhile, the two-month descending trend line that began in mid-December 2020 has firmed up.
It would take more evidence of bullish buying past the 1,600-point mark and 50-day SMA to offer confirmation that this negative phase has ended.
The technical indicators are mixed with the slow-stochastic growing stronger towards the 50-point midline, but the RSI is falling while the MACD also remains below the signal line in negative territory.
Support for the index can be found at 1,560 and 1,540.