Spectre of September ghosts keep haunting KLCI

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KUALA LUMPUR (Sept 3): The FBM KLCI remained in negative zone at mid-morning today as key index-linked blue chips retreated, in tandem with most regional markets.

September has historically been the trickiest month in the year for Malaysian equity. The market crashes in 2000, 2001, 2003, 2008 and 2011 all occurred in September.

At 10am, the FBM KLCI fell 8.16 points to 1,811.50.

Losers outpaced gainers by 572 to 137, while 270 counters traded unchanged. Volume was 868.88 million shares valued at RM340.50 million.

The top losers included Hengyuan Refining Company Bhd, Ajinomoto (M) Bhd, British American Tobacco (M) Bhd, Nestle (M) Bhd, KESM Industries Bhd, Asia File Corp Bhd, Hong Leong Financial Group Bhd, Petronas Gas Bhd and Axiata Group Bhd.

The actives included Priceworth International Bhd, NetX Holdings Bhd, Nexgram Holdings Bhd, EA Holdings Bdh, Sapura Energy Bhd and Hibiscus Petroleum Bhd.

The gainers included Fraser & Neave Holdings Bhd, United Plantations Bhd, Petronas Dagangan Bhd and Malaysia-listed Hang Seng Index-linked put warrants.

Asian stocks dipped on Monday on worries about further escalation of the U.S-China trade war and unstable emerging market currencies, according to Reuters.

MSCI's broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan fell 0.2 percent while Japan's Nikkei fell 0.4 percent though trade could be subdued due to a U.S. market holiday on Monday, it said.

Hong Leong IB Research in a traders’ brief said it expects the Dow to trend sideways this week with key focus on US-Canada resumption of trade talks on Wednesday, Aug jobs data (Friday) and Trump’s decision to slap a 25% tariffs on US$200 billion worth Chinese imports as soon as a public comment period concludes this week.

“Nonetheless, the sense that the economy and corporate earnings remain on a solid footing has allowed Wall Street to shrug off all kinds of headwinds and negative headlines, including uncertainty over trade policy, signs of weakness in the housing market, and the legal woes surrounding Trump.

“On the local front, barring any decisive violation below support trendline near 1800, we remain optimistic that KLCI could still retest 1846 (pre GE14 close on 8 May) after a brief consolidation.

“Nevertheless, as the Malaysian equities markets is still jarred by the external anxieties and exacerbated by investor uncertainty about the corporate earnings (after an uninspiring 2Q18 results) and the new Malaysian government’s policy stance and priorities, volatility is here to stay for a while,” it said.