KUALA LUMPUR: The FBM KLCI had pared earlier losses to trade flat by midday on Thursday on a lack of fresh catalysts amid Wall Street's weakness on recession worries.
At 12.30pm, the benchmark index closed 0.10 of a point higher at 1,466.94.
The broader market sagged, with decliners now overtaking advancers 532 to 302 while 345 counters were unchanged. Turnover was 1.87 billion shares valued at RM869.1mil.
Among the heavyweights, PETRONAS Dagangan shed 36 sen to RM21.98, PETRONAS Chemicals fell 13 sen to RM8.42, PETRONAS Gas eased 10 sen to RM16.50 and Kuala Lumpur Kepong declined six sen to RM21.
PPB Group rose 12 sen to RM17.12, Hong Leong Bank added 12 sen to RM20.46, Tenaga gained 11 sen to RM9.18 and Digi climbed seven sen to RM3.82.
On the broader market, Kotra rose 25 sen to RM5.67, Comintel added 20 sen to 89 sen, Malaysian Pacific Industries tumbled RM1.32 to RM28.63 and KESM lost 37 sen to RM7.12.
Hong Leong Investment Bank Research said the FBM KLCI’s near term consolidation will prevail as investors await more policy leads from the
unity government and weigh on external volatility fuelled by inflation and interest rate jitters.
“As long as the index is able to maintain its posture above 1,454 or support trend line (from 2Y low of 1,373), we remain optimistic that KLCI could resume its upward momentum after a brief consolidation. Key supports are pegged at 1,436-1,454 whilst resistances are situated at 1,482-1,504-1,528 zones,” it said.
Meanwhile, Rakuten Trade said the recent selling by foreign funds had somewhat dampened the local bourse’s performance.
“Nonetheless, possible year-end window dressing activities may prevail which could limit the downside thus we anticipate the index to trend between the 1,460-1,480 range today,” it said.
Concerns of a global slowdown saw crude oil prices weaken further as Brent crude declined to around US$77/barrel which is almost at a year-to-date low.
“As such, oil and gas stocks should continue to face some headwinds today,” Rakuten said.