KLCI falls as market jittery after Wall Street selldown

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KUALA LUMPUR (Jan 23): The FBM KLCI declined today, tracking regional movements after the overnight selldown on Wall Street and the fall in crude oil prices.

The benchmark index closed 13.98 points or 0.82% lower at 1,688.14, after moving between 1,680.84 and 1,690.76.

Malacca Securities Sdn Bhd senior analyst Kenneth Leong said the market was jittery as sentiment was not only affected by the overnight fall on Wall street, but also the first decline in oil price in the past five days.

“Investors globally are watching out for the upcoming US corporate earnings growth, but the market seems to be pessimistic about the upcoming reporting season. We are expecting the KLCI to trend sideways and be limited to 1,700 points this week,” Leong told theedgemarkets.com.

“We are not expecting a pre-Lunar New Year rally this year as well, simply because there is not much growth catalyst, unless we see some positive news flow, like an easing of tensions on the trade war.”

Reuters reported that Asian stocks trod water today as concerns over the outlook for global economic growth and the ongoing Sino-US trade war kept investors away from riskier assets.

Japan’s Nikkei closed 0.14% lower, while the Hong Kong Hang Seng Index inched up 0.01% and South Korea’s Kospi rose 0.47%.

Domestically, total trading volume was 2.07 billion shares, worth RM1.92 billion. There were 325 gainers versus 468 losers, with 376 counters remaining unchanged.

Notable gainers were KUB Malaysia Bhd and FGV Holdings Bhd, while the top loser was Petronas Dagangan Bhd.

Bumi Armada Bhd was the most actively traded counter, with 201.48 million shares done.