KLCI extends fall on persistent bearish sentiment, ringgit weakens

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KUALA LUMPUR (Dec 4): The FBM KLCI fell 12.46 points or 0.7% as bearish sentiment triggered by lower crude oil prices persisted. Lower crude oil prices have led to concerns over the Malaysian government finances.

At the 5pm closing bell, the KLCI settled at 1745.69. Stocks like Tenaga Nasional Bhd, PPB Group Bhd were among major decliners across the exchange.

RHB Research Institute Sdn Bhd executive chairman Lim Chee Sing said despite crude oil prices sustaining above US$70 per barrel today, it was still under pressure from a glut in global oil supply

“The sentiment is still very bearish out there and there is negative projection on the (Malaysian) government balances (due to low oil prices).

"It was still early to tell when oil prices would stabilise given the current supply-demand situation. The market has been overreacting and overshooting on the downside,” Lim told theedgemarkets.com.

The KLCI had extended losses today, having tumbled 27.82 points or 1.56% yesterday on foreign selling amid a weaker ringgit against the US dollar.

Investors were also affected by Malaysia's weak 3Q corporate earnings in the just concluded reporting season.

Today, the ringgit weakened further against the US dollar to 3.4460 at 4.54pm.

Reuters reported that most emerging Asian currencies eased on Thursday as the dollar stayed at multi-year highs against major currencies on solid U.S. jobs data and ahead of a European Central Bank policy decision later in the day.

Bursa Malaysia saw 1.8 billion shares worth some RM2.05 billion traded.

Losers led gainers at 534 over 270 while 308 counters remained unchanged.

Hubline Bhd was the most actively traded stock.

Top gainers included Petronas Dagangan and plantation counters Kuala Lumpur Kepong Bhd and Sime Darby Bhd.

Most Asian stock markets rose today. China’s Shanghai Composite gained 4.31% while Hong Kong’s Hang Seng Index advanced 1.72%.

Asian stocks rose on Thursday amid fresh signs of resilience in the US economy, while the euro wallowed near two-year lows before a much-anticipated European Central Bank meeting that could open the door to more stimulus, Reuters reported.

Crude oil markets remained choppy after last Thursday's decision by the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries not to cut supply sparked volatility and a sharp price fall.