KUALA LUMPUR: Hopes of further positive retracement on the FBM KLCI was short-lived as it turned lower on Wednesday amid downward pressure from the rising number of Covid infections.
The key index snapped three straight days of gains and was seen returning to the 200-day simple moving average, a crucial support level that has been keeping the market from a sharper breakdown over the past two weeks.
Technology stocks declined further, tracking the negative performance of the Nasdaq overnight, while plantation counters consolidated amid fears of stricter lockdown measures in the event of a worsening Covid situation.
At 12.30pm, the FBM KLCI was down 14.11 points to 1,577.21 with most blue-chip counters in the red.
Among banks, Maybank dropped five sen to RM8.34, CIMB slid seven sen to RM4.22, Hong Leong Bank lost eight sen to RM17.66 and Public Bank edged one sen lower to RM4.18.
Telco Axiata was down eight sen to RM3.64 whiel Maxis fell five sen to RM4.65 and Digi dropped 11 sent o RM4.19.
Glove counters held firm with Hartalega gaining give sen to RM9.60 and Top Glove rising one sen to RM5.35 and Supermax climbing four sen to RM4.68.
On the broader market, top actives were Widetech up 72 sen to RM3.12, Vitrox gaining 40 sen to Rm15.34 and Paragon Globe jumping 16.5 sen to 87 sen.
Tuju Setia, which made its debut on the Main Market today, surged 13.5 sen to 83.5 sen.
Meanwhile, regional equities were subdued on inflation fears, which have shaken investor confidence in equities amid fears of rising interest rates.
Japan’s Nikkei fell 1.5% while China’s composite index dropped 0.4% and Hong Kong’s Hang Seng was up 1.4%. Australia’s ASX200 slumped 2%.
South Korea’s stock exchange was closed today for a market holiday.