KLCI falls 13.92 points as local stocks catch up with regional decline

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KUALA LUMPUR (Sept 12): The FBM KLCI fell 13.92 points or 0.77% to close at 1,785.25 today in what appears to be a catch-up with the decline in other Asian markets as it reopened after a two-day holiday.

Market breadth across the bourse was strongly negative, with 778 stocks declining and just 146 recording gains.

“It looks like contagion fears are increasing," said said Stephen Soo, senior technical analyst at TA Securities. "It could also be a currency play, with regional funds continuing to exit.”

Investors appear psychologically bearish despite Malaysia’s strong fundamentals, due in part to an ongoing depreciation of regional currencies, Soo told theedgemarkets.com.

Ajinomoto (M) Bhd, Aeon Credit (M) Bhd and Dutch Lady Milk Industries Bhd led the list of decliners, while gainers were led by British American Tobacco (M) Bhd, Panasonic Manufacturing Malaysia Bhd and Petronas Gas Bhd.

The most active counters were Sapura Energy Bhd, Borneo Oil Bhd and My E.G. Services Bhd.

Soo said the current resistance level for the KLCI is at 1,800 points, which may trigger profit taking. He sees support levels for the index at 1,764 and 1,752.

Across Asia, stocks declined amid widespread concern on global trade tensions, emerging market turmoil, the strengthening greenback and a Chinese bear market, Bloomberg reported.

The MSCI Asia Pacific Index ex-Japan fell 0.4% to a 14-month low, while Japan’s Nikkei declined 0.3%. Hong Kong’s Hang Seng was down 0.4% while China’s blue chips fell 0.3%.