FBM KLCI unchanged at midday amid GDP jitters

KUALA LUMPUR: The FBM KLCI entered midday on a flat note due to prevailing caution at the start of the holiday-shortened week and in anticipation of Malaysia's first-quarter GDP result on Tuesday.

At 12.30pm, the key index was down 0.49 points to 1,586.96. The market breadth was negative with 667 decliners versus 347 gainers.

Following last Friday's positive bounce, the market was expected to extend its positive retracement via bargain-hunting activities.

However, fears that first-quarter economic growth could be weak due to the implementation of MCO2.0 sent investors to the sidelines.

RAM Ratings forecasts Malaysia's GDP to have contracted 2.1% in 1Q for a fourth consecutive quarter of decline due to the movement control order.

However, it said the decline is expected to "less pronounced" than in previous quarters due to economic activities being allowed to continue despite the social restrictions while strong external demand boosted industrial output.

On Bursa Malaysia, there was buying interest in plantation counters given the firmer crude palm oil prices.

Sime Darby Plantation rose seven sen to RM4.78 and Kuala Lumpur Kepong gained 14 sen to RM22.66.

Glove counters however were mostly lower, led by Top Glove dropping seven sen to RM5.19 and Supermax down 15 sne to RM4.81. Hartalega rose four sen to RM9.60.

Big movers included Pentamaster, which fell 34 sen to RM4.75 following the release of disappointing earnings results, while Amcorp Properties hit limit up after surging 30 sen to 84.5 sen on the back of privatisation news.

Among the top actives, Focus was down 0.5 sen ot nine sen, KTG dropped 1.5 sen to 21 sne and Sedania rose 3.5 sen to 34.5 sen.

In Asian marekts, investors were in a buying mood on expectations that interest rates will remain low due to receding inflationary pressure.

Japan's Nikkei rose 0.6% while South Korea's Kospi jumped 1.6%.

China's composite index was mostly flat and Hong Kong's Hang Seng dipped 0.3%.

Australia's ASX200 climbed 1%
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Bursa Malaysia , FBM KLCI , equities


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