FBM KLCI sheds 0.3% after China economic data disappoints

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KUALA LUMPUR (Sept 14): The FBM KLCI closed 4.7 points or 0.3% lower with Asian share markets after China reported weaker-than-expected economic data, which included factory output and retail sales growth.

At 5pm, the KLCI settled at 1,781.37 points. In China, the Shanghai Stock Exchange Composite dropped 0.38%, while Hong Kong’s Hang Seng shed 0.42%. Japan’s Nikkei 225 fell 0.29%.   

In Malaysia, Malacca Securities Sdn Bhd analyst Kenneth Leong told theedgemarkets.com: “The KLCI was trading mostly in negative territory today, in line with weakness across key regional indexes, due to China’s factory output and retail sales growth data, which came in below economists’ expectations.” 

Reuters reported China's factory output grew 6.0% in August from a year earlier, while fixed-asset investment expanded 7.8% in the first eight months, both well below economists' forecasts, data showed on Thursday.

Analysts polled by Reuters had predicted factory output to grow 6.6% in August, up from 6.4% in the previous month. Fixed-asset investment had been forecast to grow 8.2% over the first eight months of the year, which would have marked a slight moderation from 8.3 growth in January-July.

Retail sales rose 10.1% in August from a year earlier, the statistics bureau said, cooling from July's 10.4% pace and below analysts' expectations for a 10.5% increase.

In Malaysia, Leong said the broader market faced negative sentiment today, as share trade volume and value across Bursa Malaysia dropped.

The bourse saw 1.89 billion shares, traded for RM1.81 billion. Decliners outnumbered gainers at 464 to 376 respectively.

“Trading volume is also below the 2 billion mark, which is not so encouraging,” Leong said. Yesterday, Bursa Malaysia registered a share trade volume of 2.7 billion shares, worth RM1.85 billion.