FBM KLCI slips further below 1,600

KUALA LUMPUR: The FBM KLCI continued its descent after falling below the 1,600 psychological support in the previous session as profit-taking accelerated in the absence of fresh catalysts.

At the start of Thursday trading, the key index was down 3.52 points to 1,596.27, as the market holiday in the US left few leads for investors to follow.

On the blue-chip index, Kuala Lumpur Kepong dropped 16 sen to RM20.14, Hong Leong Bank slid four sen to RM19.14 and Tenaga Nasional slid 10 sen to RM13.76.

Nestle dropped 80 sen to RM123.20 and PETRONAS Gas fell 30 sen to RM17.56.

Meanwhile SAM Engineering slipped 10 sen to RM6.40 and LBS Bina shed 9.5 sen to 79.5 sen.

Of actives, Ingenieur rose 0.5 sen to 7.5 sen, JAKS gained 0.5 sen to 19.5 sen and Vinvest slid 0.5 sen to 8.5 sen.

According to Apex Securities Research, the index will trend sideways as investors await new catalysts although it expects the downward bias to persist following the fall below 1,600.

"Likewise, we opine that the lower liners may to follow a similar pattern but bargain hunting activities may take place over the near term," it said in a statement.

Malacca Securities Research said it expects traders to shift their focus on solid fundamental companies with earnings growth and look into defensive sectors moving forward.

"Meanwhile, we still like the technology sector with the data center, AI and cloud remain as the main catalyst at this juncture. Besides, we like Bursa on the back of rising trading value on a daily basis, while Solar-related we may focus on Sunview.

"Certainly, we are anticipating that construction stocks will remain attractive going forward with more contracts being dished out going forward," said the research firm in its outlook.

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