#Market open* KLCI slips in early trade ahead of extended weekend

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KUALA LUMPUR (Feb 8): The FBM KLCI slipped in early trade on Friday ahead of the extended weekend for the Chinese New Year holidays.

At 9.05am, the FBM KLCI fell 3.09 points to 1,616.48.

There were 51 gainers and 46 losers, while 60 counters traded unchanged. Volume was 16.94 million shears valued at RM36.19 million.

Among the early decliners were BAT, KLK, HLFG, PPB, Petronas Dagangan, AmBank, Felda Global, Petronas Gas and CIMB.

MIDF Research head of equity Syed Muhammad Kifni Syed Kamaruddin said the psychological 1,600-point support level had been tested twice so far this year.

Syed Muhammad said that despite the momentary breach on Thursday morning, swift buying that followed led the research house to conclude that the market barometer would not fall below the support level before the Chinese New Year.

He said since the onset of recent market selloff on 21 January until last Wednesday, local retailers were the net sellers by about RM850 million.

“On the other hand, foreigners pumped in nearly the same amount (RM843 million) into our bourse while local institutions were almost dead even between buying and selling (RM4 million).

“The retail-led pullout may have put a dent into the bourse performance so far this year. Nonetheless we are sanguine that for as long as the foreigners and local institutions continued to be supportive, the market will regain its upward trajectory by 2Q13, or as early as the conclusion of GE13,” he said.

BIMB Securities Research in a market preview Friday said shares in Europe ended lower following disappointment on corporate earnings and European policy makers warned the euro’s advance could hamper the region’s recovery.

“In Wall Street, stocks finished lower in volatile trading due to the same reason. The Dow Jones Industrial Average and S&P500 erased 0.30% and 0.18% respectively to end at 13,944.05 and 1,509.39 respectively,” it said.

The research house said key regional markets dropped on concern of corporate earnings and Japan’s Nikkei225 fell from a four-year high.

It said China’s stocks fell for the first time in nine days on concern the government may introduce measures to curb gains in property prices. The Shanghai Composite Index fell 0.7% to 2,418.53, snapping an eight-day rally.

“Locally, the FBM KLCI rebounded from a sharp fall on earlier trading, ended 5.43 points higher to 1,619.57 led by telco, banking and plantation counters.

“We expect the key index will continue to trade slightly downtrend with immediate support at 1,610 followed by the critical 1,600,” it said.

Meanwhile, Asian shares were capped on Friday after European Central Bank President Mario Draghi noted risks still facing the euro zone economy, turning investor sentiment more cautious ahead of Chinese trade data for January due out during the session, according to Reuters.

China's economic rebound should show signs of strengthening on Friday with the trade data for January due during the day, although distortions caused by the Lunar New Year holiday will make it difficult to gauge momentum, it said.

 

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