FBM KLCI volatile as US-China trade war, Turkey concerns linger

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KUALA LUMPUR (Aug 20): The FBM KLCI opened higher followed by volatile trade amid cautious sentiment as global investors close watched US-China trade war and Turkey's geopolitical and economic crisis.

At Bursa Malaysia, the KLCI opened 0.96 point higher at 1,784.43 at 9am. At 9:24am, the KLCI rose 2.78 points to 1,786.25.

"Conflicting daily and weekly momentum and trend indicators on the FBM KLCI following early last week's correction and subsequent range bound trade, suggests that more support building effort is needed to convince investors to return back to the market. Meantime, external market volatility, caused by uncertainties over Turkey's geopolitical and economic crisis, and the ongoing US-China trade war, notwithstanding the recent agreement for dialogue on trade issues between them, which could take months to crystalise, should see cautious market sentiment prevailing for another week," TA Securities Holdings Bhd wrote in a note today.

Across Asia, Reuters reported that Asian share markets crept cautiously higher on Monday as investors awaited developments on proposed Sino-U.S. trade talks, while keeping a wary eye on the Chinese yuan and Turkish lira for any new signs of strain. Investors had been encouraged by news China and the US will hold lower-level trade talks this month, offering hope that they might resolve an escalating tariff war.

Helping the general mood was a steadying in the Turkish lira, which was holding at 5.9800 per dollar early on Monday. Qatar and Turkey's central banks have signed a currency swap to provide liquidity and support for financial stability, Qatar's central bank said on Sunday.