FBM KLCI down 1.7% after US stocks' 4% overnight drop

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KUALA LUMPUR (Feb 9): The FBM KLCI opened 31.87 points or 1.7% lower today with Asian shares after US stocks fell some 4% overnight. US stocks' fall confirmed a correction in the nation's equities market amid higher US bond yield and US interest rate hike concerns.

At Bursa Malaysia today, the KLCI was traded at 1,807.57 points at 9am. At 9:08am, the KLCI pared losses at 1,816.99 points.

"Trading activities turned milder after the huge volatility in the market and with the negative performance on the overnight Dow, upside on the FBM KLCI is likely to be limited around 1,840. Nevertheless, we think the trading focus will be on defensive sector, such as consumer-related stocks," Hong Leong Investment Bank Bhd wrote in a note today.

Across Asian share markets, Japan's Nikkei 225 fell 2.96%, South Korea's Kospi dropped 1.97% while Australia's S&P/ASX 200 was 1.2% lower. Reuters reported that Asian stocks tumbled on Friday after Wall Street shares suffered yet another big slide amid worries over rising bond yields, while perceived havens such as the yen and Swiss franc drew demand amid the turmoil.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 1,032.89 points or 4.15% to 23,860.46, the S&P 500 lost 100.66 points or 3.75% to 2,581 and the Nasdaq Composite dropped 274.83 points or 3.9% to 6,777.16. It was reported that US stocks plunged on Thursday in another dramatic trading session, confirming a correction for the market that has thrown its nearly nine-year bull run off course. With Thursday's drops, the benchmark S&P 500 and the Dow industrials confirmed they were in correction territory, both falling more than 10% from Jan 26 record highs.