Bargain hunting could halt slide at KLCI

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KUALA LUMPUR (March 10): The slide at the local bourse could halt today and the FBM KLCI may see itself claw above the 1,800-level again on bargain hunting activities after the recent rout at Bursa Malaysia.

Local investor sentiment may receive a positive nudge after the firmer overnight close at Wall Street and ahead of key economic data from China.

U.S. stocks rose on Monday on the back of billion-dollar M&A deals, while U.S. and euro zone bond prices rose as the European Central Bank started its bond-buying program, according to Reuters.

Benchmark Brent crude prices fell on concern that the ECB move implied deflationary pressures, while U.S. crude rose on bullish storage data, narrowing the gap between the two benchmarks, it said.

The local FBM KLCI has taken a beating in recent days and slipped to below the crucial 1,800-point level in the absence of fresh domestic catalysts as well as on concerns over declining crude oil prices and economic uncertainties arising from the 1Malaysia Development Board saga.

However, sentiment is also likely to remain cautious as indicated by the overall bearish sentiment at the local market.

On Monday, market breadth was negative as decliners beat gainers at 544 versus 273. As such, any gain is likely to be limited.