KLCI falls with Asian shares as Trump talk hits sentiment

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KUALA LUMPUR (May 18): The FBM KLCI fell 8.48 points or 0.5% with Asian markets, after U.S. shares closed lower overnight, amid allegations U.S. President Donald Trump tried to influence a federal probe, which sparked talk of his impeachment.

Reuters reported the S&P 500 and the Dow notched their biggest one-day fall since Sept 9 as investors hope for tax cuts, while other pro-business policies faded after reports Trump tried to interfere with a federal investigation, set off alarm bells on Wall Street.

Former Federal Bureau of Investigation chief James Comey said in a memo that Trump had asked him to end a probe into former National Security Adviser Michael Flynn's ties with Russia, the report said.

In Malaysia, the KLCI closed at 1,767.17 points. Across Asia, Japan’s Nikkei 225 fell 1.32%, South Korea’s Kospi retreated 0.27%, while Hong Kong’s Hang Seng declined 0.62%.

In overnight U.S. share trades, the Dow Jones Industrial Average dropped 1.78%, S&P 500 fell 1.82%. while Nasdaq Composite was 2.57% lower.

In Malaysia today, Inter-Pacific Securities Sdn Bhd research head Pong Teng Siew told theedgemarkets.com: “The KLCI fell in line with U.S. markets that declined on talks of Trump’s impeachment, but I doubt it will come true. The markets have been affected, but I think this would only be a short-term pullback.”

Across Bursa Malaysia, 2.99 billion shares valued at RM2.64 billion were traded. Decliners beat gainers at 625, against 317 respectively.

Aeon Credit Service (M) Bhd led decliners, while British American Tobacco (M) Bhd topped gainers. 

The most active stocks included Anzo Holdings Bhd which saw 59.47 million shares exchanging hands. Anzo shares fell two sen to 25.5 sen, after trading between 25 sen and 28.5 sen today.

Timber product maker Anzo's shares had earlier risen, after it reported a net profit of RM1.27 million in the fourth quarter ended March 31, 2017, versus a net loss of RM3.84 million a year earlier. Full year net loss narrowed to RM4.63 million, from a net loss of RM10.85 million.