KLCI tracks Asian share losses amid Yemen uncertainties

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KUALA LUMPUR (Mar 27): The FBM KLCI ended lower in tandem with Asian markets amid uncertainties following military strikes in Yemen.

At 5pm, the KLCI declined 5.05 points to close at 1,813.37 points.

Across Asia, South Korea's Kospi ended 0.14% lower, Hong Kong's Hang Seng declined 0.04% while Japan's Nikkei 225 dropped 0.95%.

Reuters reported that Asian stocks were mixed on Friday and the dollar rebounded as rising tensions in the Middle East clouded the investment outlook.

Japan's Nikkei handed back earlier gains. "Hedge funds and commodity trading advisors are seen taking profits and unwinding their options positions before the first quarter ends," a senior trader at a foreign brokerage in Tokyo was quoted as saying.

In Malaysia, Afffin Hwang Investment Bank head of retail research Datuk Dr Nazri Khan said the KLCI was expected to find support at 1,800 points.

Nazri said Asian markets were seen gaining from China and Europe's central banks' liquidity measures.

"We expect regional markets including Bursa to get support from the latest round of People's Bank of China liquidity injections and European Central Bank stimulus. Declining US dollar index and Yemen conflicts will be supportive for commodities and eventually should be bullish for Bursa Malaysia," he said.

At the time of writing, the ringgit weakened to 3.6840 against the US dollar. Compared to the Singapore dollar, the ringgit depreciate to 2.6855.

Bursa Malaysia saw 1.64 billion shares worth RM1.82 billion traded. Decliners edged out gainers by 391 against 354, while 362 counters remained unchanged.

Top gainers included Dutch Lady Milk Industries Bhd and Kuala Lumpur Kepong Bhd.

Leading decliners included British American Tobacco (M) Bhd and Tenaga Nasional Bhd.

Top active stocks included Ingenuity Consolidated Bhd, Eti Tech Corp Bhd and Perisai Petroleum Teknologi Bhd.