Malaysian stocks down on China’s growth concerns

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KUALA LUMPUR (Sept 22): The FBM KLCI closed 3.44 points or 0.19% lower today as Asian stocks slipped due to concerns over a slowdown in China’s economy.

At 5pm, the benchmark index settled at 1846.05 points.

Areca Capital Sdn Bhd CEO Danny Wong said the movement in the FBM KLCI was “quite minor” and was still within a “tight range”.

He attributed the decline in the index to a fall in the prices of blue chip stocks.

“The market opened higher in the morning but turned around to the negative later in the trading day. This was due to the decline in some of the index-linked stocks and the blue chips,” he told theedgemalaysia.com.

He added that small-cap and mid-cap stocks will continue to have upsides as corporate news flow suggest possible earnings growth for some of these stocks.

“In the last week, we have seen some positive announcements from small-cap and mid-cap companies which show that earnings of these companies may improve,” he said.

“Small-cap and mid-cap counters are responsive to news about their earnings. This is because their share capital and their stock prices are usually low. So, the return on equity will be boosted by a positive future outlook,” said Wong.

“This may also be a new basis for profit-taking,” he added.

Wong reckoned that the FBM KLCI would trade with more “more certainty” over the next two months after Bank Negara’s announcement last week that it would maintain the overnight policy rate at 3.25%.

Bursa Malaysia saw 2.59 billion shares traded, valued at RM1.84 billion. There were 384 gainers, 444 decliners and 316 unchanged counters.

BHS Industries Bhd, Genting Plantations Bhd and British American Tobacco (Malaysia) Bhd were the main gainers today.

Aeon Credit Service (M) Bhd, Nestle (Malaysia) Bhd and PPB Group Bhd were among the top decliners.

Penny stocks were the most actively traded stocks today, including Efficient E-Solutions Bhd, Iris Corp Bhd and Talam Transform Bhd.

Regionally, both South Korea’s Kospi and Japan’s Nikkei edged lower by 0.71%. Hong Kong’s Hang Seng also declined by 1.44%.