KLCI falls in early trade as blue chips weigh, Icon in spotlight



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KUALA LUMPUR (April 23): The FBM KLCI fell in early trade today as local sentiment remain subdued despite the uptrend at regional and global markets.

At 9.01am, the FBM KLCI fell 6.97 points to 1,847.80.

The top losers included Petronas Chemicals Group Bhd, Taliworks Bhd, Icon Offshore Bhd, Tenaga Nasional Bhd, MMC Corporation Bhd, Genting Malaysia Bhd, AMMB Holdings Bhd, Public Bank Bhd and Tan Chong Motor Holdings Bhd.

Meanwhile, shares of Icon Offshore Bhd fell in active trade this morning after The Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission  remanded the company’s chief executive officer (CEO) Dr Jamal Yusof and his brother, chief operating officer (COO) Rahman Yusof, to “facilitate and assist [in] investigations” currently being conducted by the anti-corruption agency.

Icon Offshore fell 8.76% or 6 sen to 62.5 sen with 17.39 million shares done.

Asian shares were flirting with fresh highs on Thursday, while a sharp rise in British and German bond yields rippled through sovereign debt markets globally, acording to Reuters.

An early hurdle looms in the shape of the preliminary HSBC China manufacturing PMI for April due at 0145 GMT. Forecasts are for it to hold steady at 49.6 but the recent run of softer numbers has markets braced for disappointment, it said.

BIMB Securities Research in a market preview today said that key regional markets ended mostly lower yesterday.

Nonetheless, it said Japan’s Nikkei ended sharply higher, closing above 20,000 for the first time since April 2000 as foreign investors were seen buying financials and other large cap shares, believing them to be undervalued.

Locally, it said the FBM KLCI lost 8.03 points or 0.43% to 1,854.77, dragged down mainly by telco, tobacco and gaming counters.

“Trading participation saw net selling by foreign institutions while local institutions and retail were net buyers.

“We expect the local market to remain negative today with further profit taking activities with 1,850 as immediate support level,” it said.