KUALA LUMPUR: The FBM KLCI closed marginally lower amid as the latest statistic on China’s manufacturing output data fell to a six-month low this month has deterred strong buying interest.
Share prices were mostly lower across the board with decliners doubled that of gainers, 500 against 260; while 318 counters remain unchanged.
At 5 pm, the benchmark index was down 2.10 points, or 0.12%, to settle at 1822.29. Yesterday, the index was up 6.01 points.
Turnover stood at 1.64 billion valued at RM1.623 billion.
When contacted, Pong Teng Siew, head of research at Inter-Pacific Securities said that the market sentiment was affected by poor manufacturing data from China and a poor close from the US markets yesterday.
“I’m still holding to the possibility of the resumption of window dressing activities. The benchmark index might fall for a day or two – it’s hard to pin down how many days – but it will start climbing again after,” he commented.
While Pong remained positive for the period up until year end, in the longer-term, though, he remained less positive, citing “more uncertainties creeping up than before”, including some unusual divergences in the US monetary policy.
Reuters earlier reported that Asian stocks mostly fell today as factory output data suggests that China's economy was slowing dampened investor sentiment, while the yen slid to multi-year lows against the dollar and euro.
HSBC/Markit manufacturing purchasing managers' index published today showed factory output contracted in China, the world's second-biggest economy for the first time in six months.
At 2 23 pm, the MSCI's broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan dropped 0.5%, briefly touching a one-month low.
On the local bourse, Fraser & Neave Holdings Bhd (F&N) and Carlsberg Brewery Malaysia Bhd were the top two gainers today.
F&N rose 32 sen to RM16.38, while Carlsberg rose also 32 sen to RM10.82.
Meanwhile, British American Tobacco (Malaysia) Bhd and Kuala Lumpur Kepong Bhd were the top losers.
BAT shed 64 sen to RM22.36, while KLK fell 42 sen to RM67.58.
Minetech Resources Bhd and Systech Bhd were the most active stocks traded, as they saw 110.1 million and 84.6 million shares changed hands respectively.
Across the region, Japan’s Nikkei 225 was up 0.07% to 17,300.86 and Taiwan’s Taiex was up 1.29% at 9,078.87.
South Korea’s Kospi dropped 0.45% to 1,958.04, Hong Kong’s Hang Seng Index fell 0.10% to 23,349.64, and Singapore’s Straits Times Index was down 0.57% at 3,315.60.
At 4 54 pm, the ringgit traded at RM3.3673 against the USD, at a four-year low.